In a recent 2014 movie, “Birdman”, Michael Keaton’s character struggles to stay relevant in a field that has arguably forgotten his work and achievements. González Iñárritu, Birdman (2014). In one scene, Emma Stone’s character reminds us that we are all seeking to stay relevant in this world. Id. She alludes to the idea that ultimately, it does not matter what we do; our work will ultimately not be remembered. Id.
This idea may seem very cynical and fatalistic; however, we may take heart in the fact that most of the actions we take in life may not have a permanent and lasting effect. This frees our time up to determine what is important, what is meaningful, and what is lasting. Relationships, principles, and ideas are lasting and may be carried forward from generation to generation, from family to friends, from individuals to causes and institutions. It is in this area where we excel and this area where we direct how we wish to be remembered.
Far too often, I am witness to the beneficiary of a deceased loved one who is ashamed of the way the estate administration process turned out. In almost all cases, the departed likely did not intend for in-fighting, confusion, and or frustration that inevitably results from poor planning. Instead of a smooth, loving legacy for stated beneficiaries, the departed leaves a tainted memory of “what to avoid” for future generations. Worse yet, in almost all cases, the heirs are left to insert their own recollections of “what [the departed] intended” which is at always at odds with what all the other heirs believed to be true. Not only does this create immediate administration problems, but it often rips future generations apart for no reason. This creates a legacy of painful memories where there should be joyful memories, years of silence between family members where there should be a loving continued network of support.
Whatever your means of administration, the process should be graceful, efficient, and unnoticed. Your beneficiaries should share in your ideals and memory with gratitude, never resentment. Let us assist you in preparing your legacy to reflect your wishes for the future. Let us help you to pass along to the next generation the lasting, the meaningful, and the purposeful.
Birdman. Dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu. Perfs. Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts. Fox Searchlight Pictures, release date November 14, 2014 (USA).
This article was written by Jessica B. Moon, Attorney licensed in Ohio and Florida. David Bacon and Jeffrey Roth, and Jessica Moon are Member Attorneys in Roth & Bacon Attorneys, LLC. Their Offices are located in Upper Sandusky, Marion, and Port Clinton, Ohio, and Fort Myers, Florida. They have focused their practice to provide estate and business planning concepts to their clients. Nothing in this article is intended for, nor should be relied upon as individual legal advice. The purpose of this article is to help educate the public on concepts of law as they pertain to estate and business planning.
Copyright @ Jessica B. Moon 2015.