The Future of Estate Planning: The Multigenerational Life Plan

Over the last year I worked with an intern in our office of a Law Review article for Texas Tech University. This article describes problems with current estate planning and takes the premise that most estate planners have become lazy because of advancements in technology. That is, most only ask their clients about issues that their software is capable of addressing. We identify 6 primary areas that are not addressed in most estate plans:

  1. Firearms;
  2. Digital Assets;
  3. Asset Protection;
  4. Life Planning;
  5. Controlling from the Grave; and
  6. Pets

The citation for the article is
David Goldman & Charles Jamison, The Future of Estate Planning: The Multigenerational Life Plan, 5 Est. Plan. & Community Prop. L. J. 1 (2012).

Here is the Introduction Our lives and technology are changing faster than ever. Unfortunately, our estate plans are not keeping up with technology and other changes in the world. Recently while in London, I saw something that has almost completely disappeared from the United States. Who would have thought that a telephone booth would be obsolete during our lifetime? Can you picture the red phone booth from London? They used to be on every corner in the city. The tools and resources that estate planners and their clients have relied on for hundreds of years have become obsolete because of technology. Yes, technology has created automatic drafting systems which have enabled the traditional estate planner to only deal with the issues and options coded into the software. It is not that these documents will not work, but they are behind the times and do not deal with many issues in our rapidly changing lives. Advancements in technology should be used to create better solutions and not just solutions that are easier. Over the past few years, we have recognized several areas that traditional estate planning documents ignore. The goal of this article is to inform you of those areas that may not have been addressed or asked about during your estate planning process so that you can address them properly or help you to understand if the documents you are contemplating will accurately reflect the goals and objectives of you and your family.

Traditionally, an estate plan focused more on death than protecting and creating flexibility for your assets during life.1 We propose that traditional estate planning is only a small subset of a life plan, and every estate plan should be designed to deal with multigenerational issues and asset protection. Six areas exist that are often forgotten but need to be discussed when creating a life plan
If you would like to read the full article you can download it here

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