Case Study: Diane & Jan

Diane and Jan had an estate plan that was created 8 years ago.  In that time, they acquired more assets, adopted two dogs, supported different causes, and had altered relationships with some family members and friends.  Together with Emily, they discussed these different elements of their lives and how these changes affected their feelings and intentions. The ensuing personal conversation covered a lot of ground by looking at the alignments and disconnects with their head and heart. Questions of taking care of the surviving spouse, equitable giving to family members, next generation funding, asset distribution, philanthropic bequests, honoring friendships, and a host of other issues and concerns were discussed.

“Emily helped us sort through our legal papers and rethink some of the decisions that were out of date or no longer accurate. She also helped us find the ‘story’ about our legacy and helped us think of ways to leave that legacy to people closest to us. Because of Emily’s help, we were left with reports that reflected our true intentions and deepest beliefs.”

To help Diane and Jan digest all of the information more easily, Emily created an initial report that featured three areas: the information of their lives that they had shared with Emily, a recap of the ideas that resonated with them, and suggested action items. From there, the three of them sat down again to discuss the report findings: what points they felt had alignment, what was still missing, and what new information had arisen since.  Emily then provided a final report which contained a timeline of items that they could discuss with their estate lawyer, as well as items that they could continue to discuss between themselves.