Words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. These are the "5 Love Languages" as written in Dr. Gary Chapman's bestseller. His book teaches us to recognize which type of "language" we speak to others to show we care as well as consider which type we prefer to receive. Everyone is different in how much meaning they find in each, and it's up to us to understand these for ourselves and our loved ones so that we can communicate our love in a way that will be best received. This understanding strengthens our relationships with our friends, spouse, children, and even coworkers.
All of these love languages, however, can be expressed to your loved ones in one incredibly significant act: having a well-drafted Estate Plan. Estate planning is the utmost act of showing your loved ones how much you care. It creates a powerful and lasting reminder of your love, communicated in all love languages. Think of your loved ones when reading this list and consider how you can apply these love languages to the people in your life through the legacy you leave behind.
Words of Affirmation
The planning process isn't a solo venture. When drafting your Estate Plan, you involve your loved ones and have open conversations about your plans and wishes. This not only lessens the chance of conflict between your loved ones after you pass, but it also gives you a forum to fully express your appreciation and respect for them. At our practice, we provide our clients with a letter template they can use to express their feelings, to be given to loved ones and cherished long after they've passed.
Acts of Service
Having an Estate Plan relieves a tremendous burden from your loved ones. The act of creating an Estate Plan means you already have measures in place in case you become too ill or disabled to care for yourself and when you pass. This means your loved ones can avoid the hardships of guardianship court or probate court in their time of worry or grief. By being mindful of your loved ones' emotional well-being, you create peace of mind and give the ultimate act of service.
Gifts can hold more than material value. Gifting part of your estate, bequeathing an heirloom, or passing on a business to a successor takes careful consideration, and, to the receiver, it means you specifically thought of them. In the case of passing on your business, it means that you respected and trusted them enough to take over something so important. You can also contribute to a charity, which will be incredibly meaningful to the recipients.
This is two-fold. First, by planning out your legacy, you're also planning out how you'll live the rest of your life. By establishing your priorities and making smart financial decisions to create wealth, you can provide yourself more quality time with your loved ones. Secondly, after you're gone, the legacy you built can help provide for your loved ones so they can increase the amount of quality time they are able to have with their loved ones.
While you can't be there to hug your loved one after you pass, you can pass on items that, when looked at or held, can make the recipient feel like a part of you is still there with them. Consider what items you have that can help provide a tangible reminder of you, such as personalized items, photographs of you with your loved ones, or things of yours that your loved ones have admired. Give a lot of thought as to which item would mean the most to each person.
An Estate Plan is unequaled in its ability to tell your loved ones "I love you" in every single love language, and will continue to long after you've passed. If you do not have an Estate Plan yet or need an update, we can help you create a solid, comprehensive Estate Plan tailored specifically to you that will leave your intended legacy behind. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation at (702) 384-3767.