Value Based Planning and Unintended Consequences
This week I am attending the LDS Philanthropies National Planned Giving Council's annual seminar (click here to find out more). We have heard quite a bit about value based planning and unintended consequences. The idea is to plan our estates in ways that incorporate our true values into the plan and the unintended consequences if we do not. If we believe in the importance of self reliance, why would we want to have an estate plan that creates a disincentive for our heirs to work? If we believe in helping the poor and the needy, does our plan reflect this value?I was struck by the story one of the speakers told of a neurosurgeon client who was born into modest means and worked incredibly hard to put himself into a position to provide well for his family. However, he married a woman whose family was quite wealthy. Her father had set up trust funds to ensure that she and her family would be free from financial worries. While some may look upon this as a great blessing, in fact it was inconsistent with the principle of self reliance and work. A value that the husband cherished. What was meant to be a kind gesture was actually causing distress to this family.As we plan our estates, we should do so in a manner that incorporates correct principles. Our planning should be consistent with our beliefs. Take the time as you are planning your estate to think through the consequences of your choices on those who will be left behind.