Purposeful Estate Planning: Emphasizing the Human Component of Trusts

Founder of the Purposeful Planning Institute, John Warnick argues that traditional fund and estate planning often causes unintended, negative impacts on their clients due to the focus on taxes and restrictive clauses. He advocates for more personal, purposeful planning as a solution, exercised through various methods such as writing the trust in first person, plain English. One of the main objectives of purposeful planning is to instil a sense of gratitude in beneficiaries, mitigating any potential hostility and conflict over trusts and estates in the future.

However, this method of estate planning comes with its own limitations. Purposeful planning clearly would not be able to overcome real, long-term strains in familial relationships. Furthermore, this type of individualised planning requires a significant amount of time and money, limiting the client base that could benefit from this approach.

See Paul Sullivan, “Focusing on the Human Element of Estate Planning,” The New York Times, (Nov. 7, 2014).

Posted by Elizabeth Cheung, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal. 

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