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Make Your Estate Documents a Meaningful Statement to Your Children

Let’s face it. Most people really don’t like estate planning.

Even worse, the estate documents that get written are in the cold firsthand of a lawyer. And if the estate is complex, the documents are a hopeless nightmare of legalese.

But there’s a better way. Make the documents yours. Make them personal.

Regardless of the size of the estate, you can make the documents your own. Sure, you’ll need to have the legal language, but you can start with some introductory language. You can write in the first person.

And even better, you can include things like stories of how God brought you to the place you are, and why you are making a gift to your children and/or grandchildren. You can include the emotion behind the gift.

You can explain your relationship to God and His role in your life. And you can include your hopes and dreams for your children.

Here are a few thoughts about making your estate documents meaningful:

1. Reflections on the day your child was born
2. Special memories of trips taken, events that occurred
3. Things you admired about your children
4. Difficult challenges you had to overcome
5. Favorite quotes or life lessons
6. Milestones in your child’s life
7. A favorite Bible verse and what it has meant to you

One final tip: Don’t make it too long. A page or two is great!

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About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. » Learn More. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously.

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