Many years ago, the summer before I attended University, I embarked on an adventure to Canada’s Arctic to work at a world renowned fishing lodge. For me, it was an experience of a lifetime, and for years I have dreamt of going back to this incredible place. Just this past summer I was excited to return to the same waters to fish again and to re-live that amazing experience! This “bucket list” trip provided me with the inspiration for this, my next article on the topic of estate planning.
When we consider estate planning, in particular providing gifts or legacies to our loved-ones after passing, our thoughts often focus on transferring physical “things” (such as jewelry or family heirlooms), or gifts of money. Of course, these categories do form an important and necessary consideration in proper estate planning. But, have you ever considered providing a gift that cannot be physically transferred by a Will?
Perhaps you have been dreaming about taking your children and grand-children on that trip of a lifetime, to share experiences that you have been putting off yourself for far too long.
Maybe it is returning to a special place from your own childhood, or a new experience or destination that you have always been fascinated with. Maybe you have always wanted to try something exhilarating like sky-diving, or driving a race car. Everyone’s “bucket list” item will be individual to her or himself, but you get the idea. During your lifetime, these experiences with loved-ones can provide lasting memories that will continue indefinitely. For many of us, these experiences may create a legacy even more valuable than any “thing” or monetary gift could provide.
As another possibility, you may consider writing into your Will that an amount of money be set aside for certain loved ones to use for an experience that you would like for them to enjoy after your passing. Rather than simply transferring a sum of money to them, you can express these particular wishes in your Will.
The point of this is to consider if perhaps there is something more lasting that can be achieved by sharing the gift of an experience with those that you care about, rather than exclusively gifting “things” or money in your Will.
Jason P. Mallory, of Mallory Law in Blenheim, is the recipient of the Margaret E. Rintoul Award in Estate Planning
*The comments in this article are not meant as legal opinions and readers are cautioned not to act on information provided without seeking specific legal advice with respect to their particular situation.