There is a line in Shakespeare's Play, “Hamlet,” that reads: "To sleep, perchance to dream- ay, there's the rub." You see, Hamlet realized that dreams don’t always unfold pleasantly.
Sometimes, however, we have the occasional dream where we find ourselves outside of an unfolding drama, and able to favorably influence its outcome.
In reality, we also have the ability, you and I, to dream about our children’s, and our grandchildren’s futures, and to play a positive role – both today as we watch them grow and develop, and far beyond our own lives.
It’s what I refer to as ‘Legacy Visioning.’ It’s a way of imagining how our legacies can be structured to support positive outcomes in the individual and unique lives of the loved ones for whom we intend to make provision in our estate plans. It carries us above the legalese of formal Wills and Trusts, and directly into how our legacies can be used to support and improve their lives.
We can Imagine, for instance, how an inheritance might be misused through our beneficiaries’ own misguided intentions, or from the unwelcome intrusions of creditors, predators, successive and divorcing spouses – and build in protections against them.
We can walk through the process of administering our Wills and Trusts, imagining the weight of the burden and responsibility, so as to do a better job of appointing the right people or institutions to perform those duties.
Visioning is a vital exercise in which to engage prior to a visit to the estate planning attorney’s office, where the focus upon unavoidable but convoluted legalese can easily fail to appreciate and explore the potential for unpleasant outcomes down the road, as our plans unfold without the wisdom of our thoughtful foresight and guidance.
Legacy Visioning creates that opportunity for us ‘to sleep, perchance to dream,’ and for us to eliminate in advance what might well have otherwise become… the rub.