Estate Planning Now, for the Future You?

As you sit with your attorney and plan your estate, you are attempting to arrange a plan which will properly meet your objectives.  Helping you figure out what those objectives might be is one of the most important services the Will Doctor can provide to our clients.  New research into our identity by experimental philosophers and others points out that there really is a good reason to come back and see us regularly, because the person who comes back in a few months, or years later, is going to be very different.  It seems, more different than we suspect.  

A great discussion and video fleshes this out, in the following link:

Maria Popova ( see last Post) in the review of David DeSteno’s new book, notes:

“But arguably the most tumultuous arena of trust is the question of trusting ourselves, especially when it comes to pursuing future rewards or avoiding future losses. It’s a premise that requires our future self trust our present self with an accurate prediction followed by appropriate behavior, but DeSteno points to two illusions that often derail our predictions and behaviors: forward-looking myopia, or our tendency to focus more on the present than on the future, and rearward-looking whitewash, or our penchant for rationalizing our untrustworthiness and assigning blame elsewhere.  To solve the paradox, DeSteno argues, we need to master time-distortions and allow our present selves to communicate with our future selves directly across time, bypassing rearward-looking whitewash and letting our past selves remind our future selves that we are bound to make mistakes, even after we’ve promised not to make them. This lends a whole other layer of veracity to philosopher Daniel Dennett’s assertion that “the chief trick to making good mistakes is not to hide them — especially not from yourself.”

The link provided above provides a great video worth every minute in which Joshua Knobe, an experimental philosopher/psychologist, which explores this area and allows us to see the real problems which confront rational, prudent people who may not be aware of the unconscious notions that affect how we feel about our family now, and years from now.  With the coming automation of much of the document generation and number crunching involved in estate planning,  the law degree, it seems to us, will need to be complemented by an awareness of the newly emerging research that helps us understand what we TRULY want.  

Posted in Status of Tax Legislation, WillPlan Blog.

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