What is Your Money Story?
Happy Mid-Summer Everyone!
A few weeks ago I attended the 2015 Wealth Counsel Symposium in San Diego. It was a tremendous event, where I learned about many of the best and newest estate planning strategies that I will continue to use with my clients.
There was one session, however, that completely redefined the way I see estate planning. In this session, Jay K. Cherney, Ph. D., a psychologist based in Philadelphia, spoke about how we, as estate planners, can learn how to uncover our client’s “Money Story.”
What is your money story? Each one of us has a relationship with money. Some clients define money as freedom, others define it as energy. Some think about money in terms of what it can bring, to themselves, to their families, to others. But the more estate planners can learn about their clients’ relationships with money, the more we can ensure that our documents reflect the values our clients want to pass down to their children and grandchildren.
Let’s take this a step further. How you interact with money says a lot about your own values. Personally, I don’t care or judge my clients’ values; but what I do want to make sure is that I am being faithful to how my clients want their values to be passed down through their estate plans.
For example, there are certain questions I ask in the initial consultation:
1. Do you have any charities that you want to give to in your documents?
2. Are there any values, especially related to money, that you want me to reflect in your documents?
3. How old (and under what conditions) would you like your children and/or grandchildren to be once they receive money from their trusts?
These are but a few of the questions I have to ask my clients in their estate planning meetings. Because at the end of the day, our true legacy is not how much money we passed down to our heirs, but the values and ideals for which we stood. At BMC, it’s our job to make sure your estate plans reflect your legacy, and we pledge to do that for all of our clients.
If you have any estate planning questions, please feel free to call us at (908) 236-6457, or email me at email@example.com.
-Alec R. Borenstein, Esq.