estate-planning-education

I belong to a company known as Frontier Trainings where we learn speaking, facilitation, tools and skills in business. We do this in a style of learning that is experiential which means interactive and actively engaged where we do exercises and play games. In the games there are certain tasks and objectives and most of the time the context is an open forum that allows our creativity, ingenuity as well as our blocks and obstacles to come front and center.

In one of the trainings, we do an exercise on the difference between teaching and educating. Teaching it seems is simply giving out information and hoping it will be received and used. Educating, is finding an environment where the information is conveyed wrapped in a message of value, beneficial to you that improves your life and can have an impact.

As a sole practitioner in California for many many years, giving out information seemed the way to garner a good reputation and clients. If I know more I must do better at my work. As a speaker and business owner of a law firm becoming an educator has been truly gratifying.

It used to be that it was easy to talk about estate planning, probate, the purpose of a trust, the tax benefits and send people off hoping they would use the information well. It used to be that we would form an entity like a corporation and wish the business owner well. Now, we talk about a trust as a vision or plan like a business plan that requires action each and every day. Proper conversations within the family. Action steps to make sure the plan will work and that the family members are prepared for the wealth they will receive, not to mention the wealth they will accumulate in their own lives. We talk about the family stories, family treasures and how these valuable parts of the family will be protected and preserved. We explore what is important to the family so that we give value to the cold black words printed on the pages of the legal documents in a way that becomes meaningful and impactful.

Many people go to their estate planning lawyer and say, “I need a simple Trust”. It is drafted with standard paragraphs, ways for distributing money and property and without really drilling down into the specifics of what would happen as a result of the distributions. For example, in our workshops we talk about standard trust provisions of 1/3 at age 25, 1/2 at age 30 and the balance at age 35. We ask the question, would you give $250,000 to your 25 your old today (which is what 1/3 of assets can represent at age 25). Most people say NO WAY!!!. Then I ask, so if you wouldn’t do it today why would you do it when you are gone. That’s when the jaws drop, the eyes buldge. Educating versus teaching. Now we are ready to have a real conversation.

Our vision is for business and families to create lasting wealth. Our mission is to build, protect and preserve wealth and legacy for generations. To do these things we need to have business prosperity, good financial foundations, a tax fortress and personal power.

Thank you for being a part of our Straight Talk community. We educate, transform and inspire business owners and families in enhancing the way they think and talk about wealth in money, values, beliefs and traditions. Unite, Align and Nurture your common purpose and vision and protect and preserve your wealth for generations. What is your Legacy?

We welcome you to share your ideas and thoughts.

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