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200-Year Plan – How to construct a plan – 1a

ADDENDUM as of 2/5/09: While I am still excited about the materials I discuss in this post, it is with great sadness that I feel compelled to note I have discovered there are reasons for caution with respect to the sources referenced herein. [Indeed, though I don't think our daughter, who is mentioned in this post, was aware of the depth of the issues, clearly, she was "on the alert." --I guess I'm suggesting you, too, should probably be on the alert.] With respect to Vision Forum Ministries and Doug Phillips, I call your attention to the series of articles at Ministry Watchman and Jen’s Gems. And with respect to Geoff Botkin, see Who is Geoffrey Botkin? at the Under Much Grace blog.

[Continued discussion of Vision Forum Ministries' program titled The 200 Year Plan: A Practicum on Multi-Generational Faithfulness.]

Start talking about a 200-year plan, and you may find yourself faced with some major opposition! Here’s the story of my first opposition. Read the rest of this entry »

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200-Year Plan – How to construct a plan – 1

ADDENDUM as of 2/5/09: While I am still excited about the materials I discuss in this post, it is with great sadness that I feel compelled to note I have discovered there are reasons for caution with respect to the sources referenced herein. With respect to Vision Forum Ministries, I call your attention to the series of articles at Ministry Watchman and Jen’s Gems. And with respect to Geoff Botkin, see Who is Geoffrey Botkin? at the Under Much Grace blog.

[Continued discussion of Vision Forum Ministries' program titled The 200 Year Plan: A Practicum on Multi-Generational Faithfulness.]

Sadly, the Vision Forum CD set I purchased provides a sanitized (indeed, in my opinion, overly-sanitized–to the point of being useless) PDF view of the spreadsheet Mr. Botkin showed his audience as he discussed how he built his family’s 200-year plan. (The spreadsheet displayed in the CD shows no headings, no titles, no data at all. It consists, solely, of a grid with a few of the rows and columns colored in. Period. That’s it!)

After persistent attempts to get the company to provide me an example of what Mr. Botkin’s original audience saw, a member of their customer service department wrote back, “The slides originally contained personal information which has since been removed at the request of the speaker. I apologize for any inconvenience that you have experienced and I am sorry that I am currently unable to help you further in this area.”

To their credit, they offered me a refund for the entire CD because this one set of PDFs wasn’t up to par with what I would have hoped for. But I wanted the information more than a refund! So I attempted to contact Mr. Botkin directly in order to acquire a readable example of the spreadsheet and at least an exemplary sample of the data he had developed for his family’s 200-year plan. I was thrilled when he graciously provided what I asked for. I am only now beginning to work through the implications of what he showed me.

Rather than burdening you here with a full rundown of what Botkin sent me; indeed, considering how little I think I really understand the plan, I am numbering this post as #1 in a series. I have no idea how many more posts will come nor how quickly. But let me at least begin working through with you where I am going with our family’s 200-year plan.

*****
Perhaps the first and foremost most important feature of creating a 200-year plan as I’m urging, here: it creates a sense of time.

Botkin says he first acquired his own “long view” sense of time when he was a young man and Read the rest of this entry »

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Legacy Planning–an overview

Five questions, in order, will give you a broad-stroke-overview understanding of the legacy planning process. A few additional questions help clarify. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review by professional advisors

J_____, our legacy planner, has been stressing, from the very beginning of our relationship, the need for the professionals on our team — our attorney, our CPA, our investment advisor, and J___ himself — to be on the same page when they speak with Sarita and me.

“You want to include all planning team members in the process from the beginning,” he said. “We need to be able to communicate openly one with another without worrying about being embarrassed or having our egos bruised by having you [John, client] hear any of our questions or comments.”

In order to ensure that end, then, he told us that he would meet with all our advisors prior to telling us anything about the details of the plan he is putting together.

Well, the advisors’ final, pre-presentation meeting was scheduled for this morning. And J_____ just wrote me: Read the rest of this entry »

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My answer to our legacy planner’s draft Family Wealth Letter of Intent

What information can help an estate planning/legacy planning professional create the best plan for you? A document like this could help!

As I noted a month ago, our legacy planner provided a draft “Family Wealth Letter of Intent” designed to summarize in written form what Sarita and I currently understand God’s plans to be for the remaining time we have on earth, and to serve as a guide to our family and advisors to help them understand our life priorities and the things we want to do for our children and for God’s Kingdom . . . during the remainder of our life on earth . . . and beyond.

I indicated I was not happy with the paper as our planner had drafted it. It wasn’t “us.” Honestly, it overemphasized things we would have emphasized far less (and maybe not mentioned at all); it used words and phrases that we would never use; it failed to express the things that we most highly value; and it said several things that, frankly, were just plain untrue.

So I knew I had to rewrite it. And I finally finished my rewrite today. As I wrote a month ago, so now: I share this with you “primarily because I want you to see the full process we are going through. Sometimes the process is easy; often, I’m afraid, it is–or is going to be–very difficult. Most importantly, I think you need to understand that legacy planning is an iterative process.”

So here is my/our “latest iteration.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Preliminary draft “Family Wealth Letter of Intent”

Want to get a basic idea of what information might prove helpful in setting up a good legacy plan? Check out the following draft Family Wealth Letter of Intent.

Our legacy planner, having spent 17 hours interviewing us in detail on the first and second of this month, sent us the following draft “Family Wealth Letter of Intent” [FWLOI] today based on notes taken during our discussion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Do-it-yourself legacy planning

S____ hasn’t provided me any resource suggestions yet, and I’m restless. So I went to Amazon.com and did some looking on my own. I found a number of highly rated books that look as if they will to speak to what I’m interested in, so I’ve ordered them. (Typical behavior on my part: gather as much information as I can find!)

Titles: Read the rest of this entry »

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Finding a new legacy planner: myself?

Yipes! it’s been two months since S___ agreed to help us find a replacement legacy planner for G____.

S____ told us today that he has vetted seven planners and decided that none of them matched our needs. When he finally thought he had found one and brought us together with him for a final interview, frankly, all three of us–Sarita, S____, and I–were shocked at how the planner handled the interview. Read the rest of this entry »

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