In order to be successful as an estate planning lawyer, I must break down complex topics to manageable teaching points. Here are a couple examples:There are 3 tools in the estate planning toolbox for transferring assets upon death:
1- Beneficiary designation
There are no more tools.
Every estate plan will use a combination of these tools and each has its advantages and disadvantages. My job is to determine which tool is best suited for each asset, while making sure the client is comfortable using the tool.
There are 3 ways to leave inheritance to a beneficiary:
The outright approach is simple and everyone understands it.
The restrictive approach is useful when the inheritance would be subject to an identifiable clear and present danger (spendthrift habits, special needs, susceptibility to undue influence, need to maintain beneficiary’s qualification for government-sponsored health benefits or supplemental income benefits).
The protective approach is useful when there is a desire to protect the inheritance from future threats (lawsuits, divorce, debt collectors).
I have found these teaching points to be very effective in explaining key concepts in estate planning.