Will and estate lawyers in West Michigan are charged with a number of tasks when it comes to wealth management, retirement planning, and setting up wills and trusts. For the most part, clients are concerned with their money and other assets, which makes sense. After all, no one really wants to pay more taxes than are necessary, and it’s important to pass on family money and heirlooms.
All of these tasks are essential, but there are other ways in which you may want to utilize your will and estate lawyer’s expertise. Many people are now choosing to add “intangible assets” to their estate plans. These are items that may not have any monetary value but that can help to truly build a legacy.
Intangible assets such as personal letters you’ve written to loved ones, a recorded family history, or other types of messages can become a part of your estate’s trust, with the lawyer delivering them at the appropriate times. This idea can be especially interesting to someone facing a terminal illness earlier in life. A young mother, for example, could create a video of herself giving her children advice and then have those videos delivered after her death when her children meet certain milestones in their own lives such as graduation, marriage, or becoming parents themselves.
While there is no dollar amount attached to intangible assets, they can become some of the most treasured parts of your estate. Just because you can’t be there for a grandchild’s big day doesn’t mean you can’t offer your love and support, to share your pride and happiness, to offer advice and guidance.
Here are some of the things that West Michigan will and estate lawyers have seen left as intangible assets:
- Annual birthday cards or recorded greetings
- Congratulations on life events
- Stories from the deceased’s life (oral or written)
- The deceased reading bed-time stories to kids or grandkids
- Handwritten cards or letters
- Life lessons that should be passed down
- Video instructions of how to do something (make a favorite recipe, for example)
You may also be interested in creating a video will. Your local will and estate lawyer will want to make sure you have everything written down according to Michigan state and other laws, but there is no reason that you cannot make a recording of yourself reading the will, perhaps even adding in the reasons for your decisions or the hopes you have for your beneficiaries.
A video will serves another purpose, too, as it can be used to show that you were competent when you made your will. Estate planning lawyers do have to occasionally deal with family members and others challenging a will, so your video reading could be an important way to ensure that your wishes really are followed. Whether you are looking to develop intangible assets or to create a video will, your West Michigan will and estate lawyer is a great resource to get it done properly.