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Your “Family Love Letter” Can Be Your Greatest Legacy

October 2015
Chuck Wienckowski, CPA/PFFS, AEP® has more than 40 years of experience in taxation, personal financial planning, insurance services, estate planning and wealth management. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Personal Financial Planning Division and serves as the chairman of the Personal Financial Planning Committee of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a member of the Baltimore Estate Planning Council. Chuck is a Certified Public Accountant, a Personal Financial Specialist, an Accredited Estate Planner, Investment Advisor, and is licensed for Life and Health Insurance. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Harford Day School, and is a past officer and member of the Harford Land Trust and the Bel AirRotary Club.

Chuck Wienckowski, CPA/PFFS, AEP® has more than 40 years of experience in taxation, personal financial planning, insurance services, estate planning and wealth management. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Personal Financial Planning Division and serves as the chairman of the Personal Financial Planning Committee of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a member of the Baltimore Estate Planning Council. Chuck is a Certified Public Accountant, a Personal Financial Specialist, an Accredited Estate Planner, Investment Advisor, and is licensed for Life and Health Insurance. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Harford Day School, and is a past officer and member of the Harford Land Trust and the Bel AirRotary Club.

Q: What is the Family Love Letter?

A: It is a powerful tool for helping to prepare your family for your death or disability. For obvious reasons most people do not like to address such possibilities, often leaving their families woefully unprepared, exposing them to confusion, disorder and conflict. Of course, executing the standard estate planning documents – such as a will, power of attorney and medical advance directives – is an essential starting point. But just preparing documents is not enough to prepare your family.

Q: What issues can arise from a lack of adequate preparation?

A: There are so many questions your family could face in the wake of a crisis. Will they be OK financially? Will they have adequate information regarding your assets and liabilities? Will they know where those assets are located and where to find key documents? In today’s digital world, will your family know how to access vital, password-protected information stored on the computer? Even addressing basic questions regarding your final wishes – such as where you want to be buried or the identity of your pallbearers – can create tremendous tension and stress at a particularly sensitive time. In short, the burden of uncertainty at a time of crisis can leave permanent scars on a family.

Q: Isn’t executing estate documents enough?

A: The standard estate documents are just the beginning. You need to communicate to your family your estate plan and the plans you have established in the event of incapacity. You need to also organize your affairs to facilitate your family’s transition and to help them deal with an emotionally difficult time by limiting the unanswered questions. Indeed, truly preparing loved ones for the inevitable can seem a daunting task. This is where the Family Love Letter comes in.

Q: How does the Family Love Letter help lift this cloud of uncertainty and guide my family through such a difficult transition?

A: For starters, this comprehensive and well-organized booklet helps you organize your affairs and communicate to your family details about your finances, the location of your documents, essential digital information and your final wishes. But the most potent component of the Family Love Letter is the opportunity it provides you to strengthen the bonds that hold your family together. Your Love Letter will include your ethical will, your Family Mission Statement, and a final, personal letter to your loved ones that they will always cherish. In fact, the Family Love Letter itself can become your Greatest Legacy: An enduring expression of love designed to help bequeath your family the invaluable gift of Peace of Mind.

If you would like The Kelly Group to help work with you in writing your Family Love Letter, or if you have questions on other financial planning matters, feel free to call The Kelly Group at 410-893-0560. I95 Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. A Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC and Investment Advisor Representative. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor. The Kelly Group and Cambridge are not affiliated. Cambridge does not provide legal or tax advice services. This is intended to be informational and should not be used as the primary basis for estate planning purposes. Not NCUA insured, not credit union guaranteed, may lose value.

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