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Adding an ethical will to the estate planning approach

When most people think about creating their estate plan, they focus on the more practical aspects. They may consider how to draft their will, whether to set up a trust, or how to structure a power of attorney. Little thought is given to the more emotional aspects of estate planning, but those are the details that often mean the most to those left behind when a Louisiana resident passes away.

Of course it is important to address the distribution of assets after one's death. Drafting a will is a good place to begin. A health care power of attorney offers the ability to designate one or more people to handle medical decision-making in the event that an individual is incapacitated. Trusts can be an excellent way of avoiding high taxation on inherited wealth, and are a good fit for many families.

The emotional side of estate planning centers on the thoughts, feelings and ideals that an individual wants to share with loved ones. It can come in the form of a scrapbook created from favorite photos and memories. Some people choose to create a video message to pass on; technology even allows for the creation of a digital record of photos, journal entries and even audio or video recordings. Individuals can create messages that suit their particular needs and goals. Those gifts are known as an ethical will.

By including an ethical will in the larger scheme of estate planning, Louisiana residents are able to hand down more than just assets. At the end of the day, it is the memories and feelings that people hold on to the tightest. Having a lasting reminder of the impact that a loved one has had can be a far greater gift than simple monetary wealth. Once an estate plan has been finalized, this is a great touch to add.

Source: The Huffington Post, "You Don't Have to Own an Estate to Do Estate Planning!", Anthony Cirillo, Aug. 7, 2017

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