Leaving a Real Legacy – Who You Are & What’s Important to You
How We Guide You to Leave a Legacy That’s About Much More Than Just Your Money
After you are gone, your loved ones will miss you deeply. They will long for your words of counsel and concern. Hearing your voice again would be a tremendous gift.
Through our unique legacy process, you can give your loved ones the most precious gift - a lasting expression of your love. What could be more valuable?
At Atlantis Law we believe estate planning is not just about transferring your financial assets and personal belongings. It’s also about capturing and transferring your valuable intangible gifts: who you are and what's important to you – your values, insights, stories and experience.
Let Me Tell You a Story
Several years ago I litigated a case involving a $2,000,000 estate. The mom had gone to a lawyer 25 years before she died. That lawyer never kept in contact with her, and never followed up with her over the years.
As tragic fate would have it, the mom decided to make several amendments to her trust. Four to be exact.
Now the amendments were fully enforceable by the court (it is pretty easy to amend a revocable trust). But some of the terms she used were not so enforceable. For example, she wanted half her estate to “go to the charities [she was] donating to at the time of [her] death.”
Sounds simple, right?
You see at the time of her death she was not donating to any charities because by that time her son had started paying her bills, and had stopped making donations.
So when she died the family got into a 9-year court battle over whether the charities should get any money. By the end of the battle, the court decided not to honor the mother's wishes, and give the remaining few thousand dollars left in the estate to the children.
This case really opened my eyes as an estate planner.
First, it showed me that follow up is essential. It may seem like the mom’s lawyer messed up by not following up. You may think, “that’s malpractice!” You would be wrong. It is not malpractice, it is common practice. I know, because that is exactly how I used to practice as an estate planning lawyer.
Second, this case showed me that going cheap or DIYing your estate plans and amendment can cause significant family conflict and problems. For example, as an estate planner and litigator, I would have NEVER written unambiguous terms into an amendment like the one my client’s mother wrote.
Courts need to be sure about what you want. Your family does too. My client’s mother should have just named the charities she wanted her money to go to. This would have prevents 9-years of court battles and fighting.
In the end, not only did the mom’s estate not go to her favorite charities, as she intended, but her children no longer speak to one another.
There is a better way.
You Could Make a Recording, But Who Has Time?
When I was first in practice, I would tell my clients to record a message for their loved ones and put it in a safe place or simply write notes to their children letting them know how they felt about them. But so few people ever actually did it. We just get so caught up with the day to day of our lives that focusing in on leaving a legacy seems to take a back seat.
We realized we’d have to build this into our planning process and not make it just another thing you’ll get done someday. That’s why at Atlantis Law we make it part of our planning for every client to help you capture and pass on more than just your money: your intellectual, spiritual and human assets, who you are and what’s important to you.
We Help You Capture These Precious Moments
We realized we’d have to build this into our planning process and not make it just another thing you’ll get done someday. That’s why at Atlantis Law we make it part of our planning for every client to help you capture and pass on more than just your money: your intellectual, spiritual, and human assets, who are and what’s important to you.
For more information about how we help you pass on your most valuable assets – your values, insights, stories and experience - to your loved ones, or about our resources for leaving your family with a true legacy, please contact us.
What Would It Be Worth?
Can you picture someone who’s passed away, someone you love and miss deeply? Can you recall a conversation you had with them? Can you remember the sound of their voice and what they told you? What if you could hear their voice again?
What if they could speak to you—heart to heart—and share their wisdom and advice? What would it be worth to you to hear their words one more time?
What is it worth to you to know that they’ll always know exactly how much you love them? It’s worth a lot to us and we are honored to be able to provide you and your family with this gift.
We represent families throughout varying stages of life:
- Traditional two parent families or single parents
- Unmarried couples
- Blended families
- Families with special needs
- High net worth families
- Family business owners
- Estate executors and beneficiaries navigating the court process of probate administration Family members or trustees carrying out the legacy left behind through a trust administration