Gunderson Denton & Peterson Logo Sized For Mobile Browsing

480-655-7440

Mesa Arizona Estate Planning Attorney
  • 1930 North Arboleda, Suite 201
    Mesa, AZ 85213
    480-655-7440
    40 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1400
    Phoenix, AZ 85004

  • Please leave this field empty.

  • Gunderson, Denton And Peterson Office Locations


    View View Gunderson, Denton And Peterson Locations in a larger map

    Planning for the Future with Gunderson Denton

    The Most Important Parts of Estate Planning Can’t Get Legislated Away

    The Most Important Parts of Estate Planning Can't Get Legislated Away
    There is always a media swarm around the death of a celebrity, especially when they’re young, active in their careers, beloved, and tragic. The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in early February is no exception. Hoffman was an incredibly talented actor who appeared to be in the prime of his career. But that career was cut short by a history of depression and substance abuse His long-time partner found him dead in their Manhattan apartment after Hoffman apparently overdosed on heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, and other drugs.

    Most often, articles about the estate plans of dead celebrities focus on the legal challenges they raise or the amount of estate tax that could have otherwise been avoided. Many of the articles about Hoffman’s death — and Sopranos star James Gandolfini before him — bear this out. But recently an article surfaced about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate plan that caught my eye. Published in JD Supra’s Business Advisor, author Anne Bjerken noted that Hoffman’s estate plan specifically included instructions for the guardian of his minor son. The instructions serve as a reminder that some of the most important things have NOTHING to do with financial or tax-related matters. (For many sophisticated planners, this borders on heresy!)

    “ it is my strong desire…that my son, COOPER HOFFMAN, be raised and reside in or near the borough of Manhattan in the State of New York, or Chicago, Illinois, or San Francisco, California, and if my guardian cannot reside in those cities, then it is my strong desire, and not direction, that my son, COOPER HOFFMAN, visit these cities at least twice per year throughout such guardianship. The purpose of this request is so that my son will be exposed to the culture, arts, and architecture that such cities offer.” [1]

    This is a reminder to us all that many care about their personal “values” legacy. What do I want my kids/grandkids to know was important to me? What kind of humans should they become? How can my estate plan help to influence that? Hoffman felt strongly enough about providing cultural exposure for his kids that he had it written into his will.

    Values statements take many forms, from separate “letters of wishes” to firmer instructions to guardians and fiduciaries within the terms of a will or trust. Most are written as precatory guidelines — carrying influence, but no real legal effect — while others serve as incentive distribution provisions (or limitations on distributions) that are binding on the fiduciary.

    These are the really important things that don’t get legislated away and that have little to do with the size of one’s estate, the federal Applicable Exclusion Amount, the rate of tax, or any other sterile, soulless legal or tax provision.

    While parents and forebears should take the time to imbue their values on younger generations in real time during their lives, the estate plan is an important place to reinforce those values. Through the planning process we can capture those best elements of your passions and help to articulate those for the loved ones you leave behind.

    We can’t know how well Philip Seymour Hoffman communicated his values to his kids. We do know that his opportunity to do so was cut short by a tragic death. The broader message to me is that even for the wealthiest Americans, often the personal, non-financial part of the estate plan is as important as — if not more important than — the financial and tax-driven side.

    [1] See Phillip (sic) Seymour Hoffman’s Last Wishes – I Want My Son to be Raised as a New Yorker, JD Supra Business Advisor, (Anne Bjerken) 3/19/2012. Available at http://bit.ly/1gQk5lq

    Author Brent GundersonPrepared by the Advisors Forum
    Posted by

    Mesa Location:
    1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
    Mesa, Arizona 85213

    Office: 480-655-7440
    Fax: 480-655-7099
    Email: contact@gundersondenton.com
    Website:

    Phoenix Location:
    40 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1400-1532
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    Phone: 480-325-9937
    Website:

    Lawyers for estate planning and immigration in Mesa, Arizona

    [jetpack-related-posts]

    Leave a Reply

    Estate Planning
    Professionals

  • Mesa Arizona Estate Planning Lawyer Brent Gunderson
    Debbie Mitchell, estate planning paralegal at Gunderson Denton
    Paralegal For Estate Planning Lindsey Rice
  • GDP Estate Planning Blog

    Is There an Income Tax Time Bomb Lurking in Your Estate Plan?

    Estate Planning for Young Families

    Estate Planning Practice News Update: Brent Gunderson now licensed in both AZ and NV

    The Shocking Truth About Asset Protection Planning

    Three Estate Planning Mistakes Farmers and Ranchers Make and How to Avoid Them

    Transfer on Death Designation for Automobiles

    Does Your Family Member Have Capacity To Create A Will?

    How Clients Can Easily Integrate Asset Protection Trusts into Their Estate Plans

    5 Things to Consider for Flexible Trusts to Update Your Estate Plans

    I Created A Will With A Form I Found On The Internet. Do I Need To Worry About Its Validity?

    Five Ways to Make Trusts More Flexible

    And Then There Was One: When Removal Clauses Backfire

    Why You Should Avoid DIY Estate Planning

    How to Create a Successful, Multigenerational Wealth Transfer Plan

    How to Become a Multigenerational, Purpose-Driven Advisor

    Trust-Focused Strategies for Reducing Income You or Your Trustee Can Use Now

    Lessons from the Estate of Tom Clancy: Careful Drafting Matters

    The 4 Estate Planning Documents Everyone Needs

    Asset Protection Planning for the Modern Client

    What Legacy for Your Children

    How to Protect Inherited IRAs After the Clark v. Rameker Decision

    How Important is it to be Clear When Drafting Your Last Wishes? The Casey Kasem Example.

    The Most Important Parts of Estate Planning Can’t Get Legislated Away

    Three Top Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan in 2014

    The Importance of Revising an Estate Plan After Divorce

    Charitable Giving After ATRA

    Does the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 Affect You?

    Why You Should Review (and Update) Your Estate Plan

    Estate Planning for Blended Families and Stepchildren

    Estate Planning–Securing the Future for Yourself and Loved Ones

    Estate Planning Law at Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.

    Estate Planning Moves to Make Before the End of 2012

    The Estate’s Responsibilities to Creditors and the Basics of Transferring the Estate

    Estate Planning: What are the risks of creating your own plan?

    • Get Linkedin Mesa Arizona Lawyer
    • Legal counselors Facebook
    • Mesa Arizona Lawyer Twitter Account
    • law feed, legal advice, blogs and more

    Additional Estate Planning Resources

    irs.gov - Estate Planning Info For Small Business And Self Employed Individuals

    irs.gov - Estate And Gift Taxes

    Estate Planning Resources And Tools From The Wealth Counsel

    contact@gundersondenton.com
    1930 North Arboleda, Suite 201
    Mesa, AZ 85213
  • Privacy Policy
    Design By Mesa Web Designer MFWD