Lawyers, accountants, financial advisors: each are trained to manage the "hard questions" of estate planning. If the client's intent is clear, or even perceivable, there is no doubt a planning mechanism to bring it about. But getting to these hard questions is not always so easy. It is the "soft questions" of estate planning where the stumbling blocks lie. Balancing financial matters with broader individual needs and community concerns is the heart of my practice
The estate planning process focuses on assets, but it is more, it is a rite of passage. Yes, individuals who are discussing their own mortality require competent legal assistance and viable planning techniques for transferring assets upon their deaths. But, after working with clients and their families, and their wealth managers, for years, I can truthfully say they also want help defining their lives, finding meaning and encouragement to deepen (or build) relationships with their loved ones. To help accomplish this:
I link technical counsel to more personal, values-based philanthropy planning.
I take a comprehensive approach to planning, rather than focusing solely on tax deductions and specific giving mechanisms.
I work with clients who are interested in achieving important objectives. Often, they want to be equipped to create cohesive giving programs, evaluate the impact of their gifts, and know whether they’re making a difference.
Traditional estate planning, coordinating among the client's team of legal, tax, insurance and estate-planning specialists, is often a narrow approach. Comprehensive planning expands the approach and initial planning includes a discussion among both the benefactors and their adult beneficiaries with the help of professionals. Often clients need more to help them find their own answers. Once they have clarity about their wishes, intentions and family mission, they are in a much better position to move forward confidently and complete a satisfying plan.