real-value-300x199If the best things in life are free, such as the love of your family and your spiritual faith, and our most valuable possessions are often of little worth except for the memories attached to them, why do estate plans usually only focus on money and real estate?

Yes, financial assets and real estate are an important part of your estate, but so are your intangible assets, which greatly contribute to the ability of your heirs to maintain your legacy. For example, your understanding of the importance of a good education to a family’s ability to succeed for centuries is an extremely valuable intangible asset that needs to be passed on to all future generations.

Tangible and Intangible Wealth

Tangible and Intangible Wealth

The four pillars of wealth support your family’s legacy. Three of those pillars regard intangible assets.

Pillar I – Values and Life Lessons

Pass on your values and life lessons from one generation to the next. Ethics, morality, faith, family traditions and family history are all part of this pillar.

Pillar II – Instructions and Wishes to be Fulfilled

This includes love and concern expressed in directives such as care for self or a loved one, incentives to finish higher education, and funeral instructions.

Pillar III – Personal Possessions of Emotional Value

Possessions and heirlooms that carry sentiments and memory can be a cause of great family conflict. Examples include a father’s baseball glove, pictures and journals.

Pillar IV – Financial Assets and Real Estate

Elements of financial value such as savings accounts, stocks, bonds, IRAs, a family business, real estate holdings and vacation property.

The Allianz American Legacies Study

Values and Life Lessons are Most Important to Boomers and Their Parents