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Make your Estate Plan a Declaration of Independence

by Attorney Nathan Begley Happy Independence Day from Good Advice Law!

I have always been fascinated by early American history. I am consistently struck by the commonality of human experience across time and space and how things that were true then remain true now. In spite of the political polarization and divisions in society, there were certain instructive principles that held true so firmly that they became the bedrock foundation of our democracy. It is with reverence that I contemplate the wisdom of our Founding Fathers in service of my clients.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a person to be cared for, how do we guarantee the protected person the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them? The answer, just as it was for Thomas Jefferson, is to create a Declaration of Independence that outlines the guiding values and objectives of preserving "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Accordingly, a good Estate Plan will endeavor to keep you alive, free, and able to do what you want with your life. One of the best tools for preserving autonomy and dignity is a well-crafted trust, “laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

You know yourself better than anyone else does. You know what matters to you. You might even have things you’ve kept to yourself and for various personal reasons, may have not shared what you really thought with your family and friends. Don’t be subjected to what somebody else “thought” you wanted. You have an opportunity now to speak up for yourself so that later on your true wishes can be followed.

Remember the brave people who fought and died to create a better world and paid the blood price for the freedoms you now enjoy. Do not cast aside lightly the sacrifices of subsequent generations who have kept the tree of liberty growing strong. You have been given a most special and fantastic gift, free to you, but at great cost to many who came before. As Samuel Smith eloquently penned: “Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, Let freedom ring!”

Let today be your Independence Day and consult with an Estate Planning attorney to find out how you can best protect your Family, Dignity, and Autonomy.

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