My early childhood was far from normal. Born in England, I spent the first 10 years of my life in four cities and moved nine times. My parents weren’t in the army, nor were they diplomats although our lives certainly mirrored those who were. We may have had a nomadic existence in those times but were never unmoored for one basic reason – no matter the outside environment our home life did not change. We ate the same food, kept a similar school routine, and adjusted fairly well. And the lessons I learned as a result were invaluable. A product of international school education, it was ingrained in us as kids to respect & value those who are different from us. My religious upbringing taught us the importance of charity and kindness towards those less fortunate. My deep desire to provide a secure haven for my children to come home to, is merely a reflection of the stability in my own childhood home.
These early values may be universal in some sense but they manifest differently for all of us. The particular values that we carry with us through to adulthood will ultimately define the people we become. It follows that how we manage our affairs is a reflection of the people we are. Whether we choose to give a portion of our wealth or all of it to charity, prefer to gift property equally or unequally between our inheritors, set up trusts or give gifts outright, the decisions we make are as unique as the reasons behind them. An estate plan should be as individual as the person it is created for. Trust a qualified lawyer to properly advise and prepare a plan that reflects who you are.