Envision for a moment how you want to leave those closest to you when you pass away. Maybe you’ve never thought about it consciously, but I’m willing to bet you have hopes and dreams for what those goodbyes will look like, and how you will continue to affect the people you love.
Do you want to:
- ensure your spouse is taken care of?
- ease the interpersonal strain between yourself and a family member?
- guarantee that your loved ones and friends know what was important to you?
- delight someone by leaving them something of yours they’ve always enjoyed?
- help your children or others pay off college debt, buy a house, or just start saving for retirement?
- tell your closest friends what they mean to you?
When you picture the end of your life, what do you want people to know about you? What do you want them to remember? What do you want them to do?
(Related: What Is Relational Estate Planning?)
It could be as simple as knowing that you loved them or as complex as caring for a disabled loved one.
We challenge you to write your goals down right now.
Five Ways You Can Help Your Loved Ones with Relational Estate Planning
“Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time. It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.”
Now that you’ve gathered your thoughts about your end-of-life goals, let’s take a look at five ways relational estate planning can help your loved ones.
You will probably find that your specific goals fall into one or more of these categories and, hopefully, they’ll bring some other specific goals to mind:
ONE: Protect, provide and care for your loved ones.
The first goal of your estate plan should be to make sure your loved ones are taken care of when you are gone. Of course, the amount of protection and care that is needed will depend on their specific situation.
TWO: Help your loved ones avoid conflict.
A huge percentage of families struggle with conflict after the passing of a loved one, and disputes about money make even good relationships fray. Your estate plan should be designed to create harmony, not conflict, and strengthen your familial relationships after you are gone.
THREE: Leave them your legacy, financial or otherwise.
You’ve lived, learned, felt, and done. A good estate plan communicates what you thought was important, sometimes in words, sometimes by action, and sometimes with money. What do you want to leave behind? What do you think others need to know? This is your legacy. Create a good estate plan to communicate it to your loved ones.
FOUR: Preserve their special memories with you.
Life is shared memories. A good estate plan preserves those memories for your loved ones. When you take steps to preserve your memories with them, you do more than help them remember. You actually protect a piece of their story and identity, you help them grieve well, and give them a more tangible piece of who you were to carry with them.
FIVE: Ease their burdens related to your passing.
Your death will be a complicated and challenging time for your close family and friends. Some of those challenges will be practical things, and others emotional, but there are steps you can take ahead of time to make their burdens easier to bear.
You can care for others even after you’re gone, by setting up a relational estate plan now. Click here to request your free consultation and start accomplishing these five goals for the people you love most.