Ron Stark: We are joined once again in this show by attorney Larry Brock from the Larry Brock Law Offices out of Chino, California. Larry, every show you talk to us about the various aspects of estate planning which is something that, unfortunately, people don’t think about until it’s too late or not at all. If you had to consolidate everything, what matters most?
Larry Brock: Saying it that way, what matters most is consolidating, but it’s also opening it up into an area that traditionally people don’t think of when they think of estate planning. They think of estate planning as financial planning or protecting and growing your money. Estate planning, which is preparing your money to give it to the family. What matters is preparing your family to receive their inheritance.
Ron Stark: Preparing them? How do you prepare them?
Larry Brock: By letting them know who you are and what matters most to you.
Ron Stark: Oh.
Larry Brock: What do you value, Ron? What’s one of your values? I’m putting you on the spot.
Ron Stark: Well, my kids and my kids’ long-term welfare is a value. A personal value is integrity, honesty, ethics, giving back.
Larry Brock: All of those things. That’s a hard question to answer when you’re put on the spot. What are your values and what means most to you? I’ve developed a tool to help you identify what matters, what matters most to you, where I’ve come up and identified about 32 different values that are common and it allows you to narrow them down until you come to the first, the most important one. We take that value, something about it, there’s a story to that value. What is it? We tell that story and then we work that into the legal documents that are part of the estate plan. We go back and get the values that are little, one step up, and back again, so that that estate plan that, at one time was just a bunch of legal documents …
Ron Stark: About money.
Larry Brock: … about money, now it’s a document that talks about the values. You said integrity was one of the values that’s important to you. When did you first start thinking about integrity? Are you like I am where, as a kid, it was shown to us by what our parents did and how they lived their lives? When, as an adult, did it click in your mind that you are going to be a person of integrity?
Ron Stark: You know what I love about this, because you’re right, normally it’s just a bunch of legal documents about money. Now, it’s really truly a legacy, not just about money, but about a way of life and a hope or an expectation of a future life for the people that are inheriting the money.
Larry Brock: That’s right. That’s what I mean when you say prepare the family for their inheritance, because they see the legal document. You let them look at it, but it has the message in there that when you use this money, think about maintaining your integrity. Honestly, what’s the difference between honesty and integrity? There is a slight difference in many people’s minds. To somebody, that may be important to them to pass that message on to your 18-year-old child.
Now, your 18-year-old child … My youngest is 21, don’t know if you would turn the keys over to a Corvette to a 21-year-old or an 18-year-old.
Ron Stark: Well, or certainly if I had a great deal of wealth, want him to get that all in one lump sum at 18 or 21.
Larry Brock: Without any guidance of how to use it. When you talk about what matters, we create that guidance, not only to the child who’s going to get it, but to the trustee who’s going to administer it. The trustee knows this is what’s important, this is how to guide my child during the formative years where they’re finishing their maturity.
Ron Stark: Even though I’m not there personally to do it anymore.
Larry Brock: Even though you’re not there.
Ron Stark: I love that. If someone wants to get more information on this special plan that helps guide your values through this process, how would they get a hold of you?
Larry Brock: Just call the office or go to our website, trustandprobatelawyer.com, and we’d be happy to talk to you. We’ll send you out this exercise for identifying the values that matter most to you.
Ron Stark: I love it. What a great idea. Larry, thank you so much.
Larry Brock: Enjoyed it.
Ron Stark: We will be right back.