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Incorporating legacy goals, aspirations into estate planning

Forbes contributor Daniel Scott will likely not embrace many new friendships among professionals in the estate planning realm following his recently penned article criticizing the industry.

Scott – who is a money manager and financial adviser – gives the wealth management industry high marks for its “largely shifting away from investing merely to continually grow assets” for clients.

He does not extend the same self-congratulatory kudos he gives his own work realm to estate planning attorneys. He states that most of them continue to embrace a property-only focus while eschewing a more important “goals-oriented” approach.

Scott’s bluntness is flatly undisguised. “Most of the time,” he writes, “estate planning lawyers fail to integrate your pursuit of happiness into your estate plan.” And while omitting to do so, they “fail to help you at all … during your life.”

Legions of seasoned and empathetic estate administration attorneys are likely to respond in one of two ways to such comments. Some might simply ignore them as being superficial and so generalized that they are essentially meaningless. And some might overtly challenge them.

That latter response can pack ample ammunition from a planning professional who has spent years developing holistically and legally solid plans to promote clients’ goals across a spectrum incorporating both wealth concerns and life aspirations.

That is certainly what we do at Bay Area Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC. Our principal attorney is both a planning attorney of long stature and a CPA, using that integrated background to broadly assist individuals and families with fundamentally important concerns.

Although many of those often do relate to property-centric issues, many go far beyond that to embrace precisely the matters that Scott stresses. We note on our website that effective estate planning considers “the unique circumstances in your family … and your wishes for preserving your legacy.”

We submit that such client advocacy far transcends a narrow focus on wealth preservation and transfer alone.

We welcome comments to our firm to discuss how a tailored and integrated planning approach can promote key life goals in a balanced and complementary way.

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