Last Monday, we celebrated the 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document by which the United States of America was born. By recognizing the need to break free from the control of England, the former colonists put forth the belief that only by gaining independence could they gain the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Nearly two and half centuries later, the world has changed dramatically, but the desire for independence and the ability to chart our own course remain key values to Americans. Running parallel to this need for freedom is our history of finding great success by relying upon each other. The motto “E Pluribus Unim” (out of many, one) reflects that this is also a core American value.
When preparing an estate plan, it is understandable to want to rely on one person or one advisor to ensure all your wishes and desires are fulfilled. However, in most cases, it is preferable and useful to have multiple advisors across multiple professions working with you to provide you and your family with the security you wish for. By working together, attorneys, accountants, financial and wealth advisors and other professionals can bring their specific expertise to the table and strengthen the other advisors’ abilities to help a client reach their goals.
Family members and friends also play a part in ensuring your estate plan fulfills its goals. In their capacities as fiduciaries or beneficiaries, these most important individuals can assist both the individual and their advisors during their lifetime and beyond. Conversely, a disgruntled family member can cause great harm to the success of an estate plan.
In the end, each individual’s estate plan should reflect their specific wishes and intentions. It is each individual’s right to plan their affairs as they see fit. Utilizing the people and resources available to you is best way to achieve this goal.
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