Welcome to your Family Wealth Planning experience.
Family Wealth Planning is a crucial step to establishing peace of mind and financial safeguards. During our time together, we will develop a plan setting forth how you specifically want your money and property to be handled. We will do this by inventorying your assets, considering your future needs and that of your family, and completing the Pre-Meeting Questionnaire & Legacy Interview, to help you obtain a firmer understanding of your wishes, desires, and goals.
You will also have the opportunity to account for your “whole family wealth.” The term “whole family wealth” signifies a complete plan involving the unique gifts that you will pass on to your children. Family wealth planning involves more than tangible assets (houses, 401k’s, bank accounts), but also intangible assets (memories, insights, values). A true family wealth planning session should include a combination of these concepts. After all, we give much more to our children than food, shelter and clothing. We have the means to give them a legacy. As you can see, your “whole family wealth” is very important.
The term “estate planning” is antiquated in my opinion. It suggests that it should apply only to the very rich or the very old. Consequently, many young families do not benefit from having some type of planning available to them. But, all families need help with planning, especially when minor children are involved. Previously, “estate planning” concepts merely involved the desire to reduce probate and estate taxes, while building assets and naming beneficiaries. Now, the main concern is who will care for your children if you cannot, how will you still give them the life you want them to have, and how will you keep your spirit alive in their lives.
I am Lori Vella. I am a Florida and New York-licensed attorney. I used to work for a large and prestigious multi-state law firm in downtown Tampa (prior to that time I was a judicial law clerk at the esteemed Fifth District Court of Appeal). But, after 14 years and an advancement to partnership, having my son Gianni changed my priorities. I withdrew from the partnership to raise my son full-time. It was then that I realized the overwhelming “parental fears.” I had many concerns about his future, his life, my life, our lives… so many fears that I didn’t know how to address, but I also didn’t know how to find the time to address them!
Several months after he was born, I started reaching out to other moms in the Tampa Bay community. Over the last three years, we formed a strong network. I heard their stories, shared their worries and happiness, and began to understand that my fears were not unique. Through these relationships, I saw a great need for these parents to communicate, and make official, their family wealth and planning concerns. But what’s more, these parents would benefit by talking to another parent–a person that understood their needs. I felt it was an invaluable service to have someone that would draft their legal documents with the same concerns she had for her own family, and would anticipate the types of questions and concerns that may arise. And, from that concept, my law firm was born. I am helping you plan from a parent’s perspective.
To further my unique concept, I needed a different environment from the formal law firms I knew. I imagined my own issues with finding child care, trusting my son in the care of others, and feeling tired from sleepless nights. I didn’t want the obligation of getting dressed up, to then fight for parking at a scheduled appointment at a fancy law firm downtown. Then I realized something. I didn’t have to do things the old-fashioned way. The days of getting decked out in your Sunday best to visit your lawyer’s office are now gone. In their place are virtual law firms that provide the same services with lower overhead costs, a more casual and relaxed atmosphere, and, in my case, a place where children are welcome–not excluded. But even more fitting, these law firms accomplish the bulk of work with their clients electronically. Thus, when you correspond with my law firm, phone calls, video conferences, email communication and scanned documents are the norm. However, a kid-friendly meeting place (my house) was also set up to welcome my clients and their kiddos. It is an entirely new concept of having a trusted advisor that is available on a more relaxed scheduled that fits your busy lives.
WHAT IS WHOLE FAMILY WEALTH PLANNING?
As a family, you always make sure you do what is best for each other. You have been thinking that way even before you had a family, when you were a single person, maybe just getting married and contemplating all that you would give and provide for your children.
Lately, you may have felt stressed or worried, thinking that you aren’t yet prepared for the future. It seems too overwhelming to plan, you don’t know what to do, don’t have the money and you aren’t sure who to trust. This is a common concern. As a parent myself, I recognize that family wealth planning means several things to me. Indeed, the word “wealth” has a lot of significance. It is dollars and cents, planning, happiness, spending time together, health, emotional well-being, passing on values, making memories and leaving a family legacy. Wealth is not equal to money. Wealth is more than that. And as it relates to your family life, this is called “whole family wealth.”
“Whole family wealth” is a concept that covers all bases. It is recognizing that you have a tremendous amount to offer to your children beyond money. You have history and stories and good advice. “Whole family wealth” is taking into account contingencies that may occur and outlining a plan. “Whole family wealth” is making sure every child caretaker knows your plan and has authority to carry out your wishes. “Whole family wealth” is creating a will or trust that protects your assets. “Whole family wealth” is choosing legal guardians and alternate guardians by asking thought-provoking questions that will determine what values matter the most to you. “Whole family wealth” is having advanced directives so that others know what to do if you get in an accident.
Along these lines, I will also prompt you to capture your wisdom and advice to your kids. It will involve making an important sacrifice to contemplate some tough thoughts. As parents, we need to have the courage to contemplate scenarios that may hurt our feelings. Planning for these outcomes now is crucial and important. I will assist you to come up with a plan to share your wealth, find ways to create more wealth, share your thoughts and create a lasting legacy for you, your kids, grandkids and on and on.
Again, welcome and thank you for entering this journey with me. To get started, contact me to set up our first appointment.