The Three-legged Stool

Often this confusion comes into play because we don’t think we have many worldly possessions, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. Estate planning can be viewed as a three-legged stool, each with a separate and unique purpose.

The first leg is the emotional side of planning. This tends to be the hardest part for most people, but it is the most important. I encourage everyone to handwrite letters to their loved ones. This isn’t about who gets the microwave, the Crock-Pot or the Dodge Dart. This is about your hopes and dreams for your children, the life lessons you have learned and maybe even about your family history. For your spouse, you might talk about how you have no regrets and encourage them to move on after you are gone. These letters will be the single hardest thing to do, but will be something they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

The second leg of the stool is the administrative piece. This part is not about who gets what, but is focused on making sure we do not leave behind a mess for those about whom we deeply care. We all have heard horror stories about those who leave behind boxes of documents, forgotten financial accounts and other valuables located in places the family might never find. For this reason, I encourage everyone to fill out an estate planning inventory. This document is designed to be a resource guide for those who are taking care of us during life when we’re no longer able to do so ourselves and for our executor or trustee after we are gone.

For a copy of this estate planning inventory form, please contact Gloria Hurwitz at or 740.751.8702.

The third leg of the stool is the financial piece. Now, simply thinking about who gets your stuff when you are gone can be depressing, but many find great peace when they start planning for the impact and legacy they hope to leave behind. With the latest changes to our tax laws, now is a great time to review the impact you are hoping to make.

Thompson & Associates
Values-Based Estate Planning

Paul Grassman of Thompson & AssociatesUnited Church Homes is pleased to offer our friends and supporters a complimentary, values-based estate planning service from an expert estate planning advisor. Paul Grassmann, from Thompson & Associates, visits Ohio monthly to meet with and assist families or individuals as they navigate through various practical, emotional, and legal issues.

If you are interested in learning more about this service, or scheduling an appointment with Paul, please contact Gloria Hurwitz, vice president of advancement at or 740.751.8702.