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Thankfully, every estate plan can be uniquely tailored

"When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground."

Although that is obviously not intended as a literal statement, it is a figurative truth that is immediately understood.

And its meaning is certainly enhanced through reference to "wisdom, beliefs, values, important family traditions and stories" in a recent article on the broad-based creativity and utility inherent in estate planning.

What the author of that piece seeks to centrally impart is that effective estate planning must often encompass more than a focus on financial matters alone.

Of course, it already does for legions of individuals and families in California and nationally who think of much more than asset transfer and inheritances in their planning tools and documents.

What Kiplinger writer Laura A. Roser emphasizes with special emphasis, though, is how truly important it is for many families to connect in a cross-generational sense. Thoughtful estate planning can be an ideal vehicle that helps them do just that.

"Don't let your possessions become the only representation of your life," she says, noting empirical evidence underscoring how beneficial it is for children to know something about their family's past.

That past can be optimally addressed and preserved through the thoughtful creation of what Roser calls "legacy vehicles." Those range widely from taped or written life stories and the passing along of heritage- and cultural-related information to charitable choices and whatever else helps to convey the essence of a family.

A key point about estate planning stresses its creative process unique for every individual and family. That versatility allows for family stories to be truly and wonderfully told.

An experienced estate administration attorney can provide further information and help any planner fully appreciate that a meaningful plan can encompass far more than mere asset-related matters.

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