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Live Well. Leave Well.

Plan Your Estate for Those You Love!

Pardon the pun, but estate planning is a deadly topic. That’s the plain truth. And most estate planning books have deadly covers. It’s probably why many people do not have an estate plan!

Want proof? Drop the phrase “estate planning” in conversation, and listen as the room goes silent. Most not only d[r]ead the topic, they avoid it all costs. Unfortunately, those costs are high, and they’re paid by friends and heirs.

Don’t Simplify. Over-Simplify.

We want to make a difference in the way we talk and think about estate planning. We want to inspire people to think about and plan for the inevitable; inspire them to shape their legacy while also sparing their families unnecessary pain.

But how can an estate planning booklet deliver inspiration? If you look at the materials out there now, you’ll see a banal collection of attempts — like a quiz for donors on estate planning, or books with titles like Estate Planning for Dummies that have cover photos of near-death couples sitting with an attorney.

Besides, that’s not when the majority write their estate plan!

I don’t know about you, but those uncreative attempts don’t make us feel inspired. And we sincerely doubt that they’re going to motivate anyone to include charitable causes in their estate plans, either: Simply put, …

… they’re not inspiring donors to make you a part of their family.

Features and reasons to get this book:

  • Eight 1 to 2 page inspiring chapters (see column on right)
  • A series of information gathering forms before you visit your lawyer
  • Makes a great gift, item to share at Legacy Society luncheons, etc.
  • Can be branded with your nonprofit’s name and logo with a chapter highlighting making you part of their family. Your organization name included inside the book.

1️⃣ Writing Your Will Makes You Fall in Love Again

A short story about how and why my wife cried when we met with our lawyer. We had to make some tough choices, like: When do you pull the plug if a partner is terminally ill? What happens if we both die in an accident at the same time? Creating a will helps you realize that you must live for the present. If you’re married, it can deepen your relationship. And if you are single or widowed, it can help you fall in love with your life’s purpose all over again. (Read)

2️⃣ Don’t Worry. You Don’t Need a Will. The Government Will Take Care of it For You.

If you die without a will, Uncle Sam will step in and settle your estate. Your affairs will be dragged through probate and become public record. Taxes will eat up a large portion of your assets. Your friends and favorite charities will get nothing. And surely, the government will keep your minor children’s best interests in mind and find suitable guardians … right?

3️⃣ Live Peacefully. Leave Gracefully.

While we don’t have all the answers to living a completely peaceful life, we do know that getting your affairs in order and planning for the future will help. Think of preparing an estate plan, then, as a waypoint on the road to a peaceful existence. But that’s not all: An estate plan is the best way to ensure you leave gracefully, too.

4️⃣ Why This Book?

More than ever, Americans need to be educated about estate planning — and in a much friendlier way. AARP studies show 60 percent of Americans die without an estate plan. What’s more, those figures include people from all walks of life — including lawyers and doctors who should know better, wealthy celebrities who can afford the very best legal counsel, and young parents who don’t realize the importance of having a plan in place for their children.

5️⃣ A Few Personal Stories

We hear it all the time, “It’s too complicated. I’ll get around to it. I’m not dying tomorrow.” They never get around to it. And they die without an estate plan. And the family pays the (very expensive) price to sort out the mess. It leaves bitter memories, instead of a lasting admiration for the family breadwinner.

6️⃣ An Estate Plan is Your Personal Diary

Writing a will is really not that hard! And it will make you think about your family, your blessings, and the legacy you want to leave behind. It’s like writing a diary — for someone else’s eyes. These tips will help inspire you to think about the story you want to tell.

7️⃣ Make Us Part of Your Family

Many people don’t realize that they can also name charities as beneficiaries in their estate plans. It’s a way to make a beloved cause a part of your family. And by supporting a mission that’s close to your heart, you’re also creating your own legacy — one that both you and your family can be proud of. It’s just another way to live — and leave — gracefully.

8️⃣ Get It All Together

All the information and forms you need to get started creating an estate plan today — plus a checklist to keep track of everything. If your estate planning needs are simple, this chapter has you covered — all you’ll need is a witness and a notary (though we strongly suggest you have your plan reviewed by an attorney). If your needs are more involved, use this chapter to get started on the secretarial work so your attorney can focus on the strategic work.

9️⃣ Final Plans 

No one enjoys visiting a funeral home’s showroom, picking out headstones, and choosing a burial plot. Make things simpler and less painful for your loved ones by making arrangements for your service and burial ahead of time. At the very least, leave specific instructions. It’s surprising how many of us will talk, in detail, about what kind of send-off we would like — but then don’t make any plans to ensure our final wishes are carried out. When our loved ones’ minds are clouded with grief, having a clear-cut path helps make the going a little kinder and gentler.

🔟 Your Last Invoices 

One’s from the government, and one’s from your funeral parlor. Plan ahead, otherwise you run the risk of overpaying both. In this chapter, we’ll show you how costly mistakes could cost you and your heirs.

Also included is a Glossary — an explanation of all the legal terms in this book.