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    Joshua and Laura Meier Newport Beach Trust and Estate Planning Attorneys Focused on Helping Families with Young Kids
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    Category Archives: Unique Assets

    How To Write A Family Mission Statement

    Quick-step: Write a Family Mission Statement

    What it is: A Family Mission Statement is a simple written statement developed together by all members of the family that identifies your family’s core values and what you hope to become and achieve together.

    Why you need one: Writing a mission statement is a simple, yet powerful way to bring greater purpose to your family, and serve as a guide when making important decisions impacting your family.

    Estimated time: 30-60 minutes

    How to do it:

    1. Have each family member identify their three most important values (young kids should participate!)
    2. Give each family member a turn to verbally share their three most important values with the other family members without interruption or judgment.
    3. Identify the three most common values among the family members and write them down. It doesn’t mean other values aren’t important or less, it just means you are focusing on the three most SHARED values. (Example: Education, Forgiveness, Philanthropy)
    4. For each shared value, identify how you want that value to impact your family. (Example: Education- To increase our knowledge and expand our abilities in our community. Additional Example: Forgiveness- To move forward together as a family focusing on our family’s strengths instead of our mistakes and shortcomings.)
    5. Put it all together in one simple statement.  Here is an example:

    “The [Your Family Name] Mission is to continually come together to….

    • become more educated, so we can increase our knowledge and expand our abilities in our community;
    • Freely forgive, so we can move forward together as a family focusing on our family’s strengths instead of our mistakes and shortcomings; and
    • Be philanthropic, so we can share our wealth and love with others in our world.”

    For additional guidance on creating a Family Mission Statement, feel free to contact your Newport Beach Trust and Estate Planning Attorneys at Meier Law Firm. We have some great resources you can use to reach your family’s unique goals.

    Consider A “Gun Trust’ For Your Firearms

    Traditional estate planning can be problematic when dealing with firearms. The documents used to manage your bank accounts often instruct people to violate laws that pertain to the transfer, possession, and use of firearms. A Gun Trust is an estate planning document that has been designed to help you acquire, manage, use, and transfer firearms, including those restricted by the NFA, while protecting your family and friends from inadvertent violations of state and federal laws.

    Do you have any firearms that are collectible and likely expensive? Do you have any firearms that are subject to federal regulations on ownership and use? If yes, then careful planning may be required to avoid running afoul of tax and regulatory laws upon your incapacity or death.

    Planning to give away your estate property is often about understanding your loved ones and family members, but proper planning is also about understanding the assets you are giving and the snares to avoid. You own different assets in accordance with different laws, so you must take these elements into consideration when giving them away.

    Many firearm owners take great pride in their collection and also hope to pass them along to their loved ones. Failing to plan for the legal ownership transfer, however, can result in accidentally triggering illegal transfers. Accordingly, if you own a firearm or even a firearm collection you plan to leave to family or loved ones, then a “gun trust” may be in order. A recent article in AmmoLand, titled "A New Breed of Gun Trusts – Protecting Firearms Collectors & Their Collections," makes this point very clearly.

    A properly written gun trust can skirt tax and regulatory pitfalls. When drafted correctly, trusts are very powerful and specially-tailored legal tools for giving all sorts of unique assets.

     Reference: AmmoLand (April 30, 2012) A New Breed of Gun Trusts – Protecting Firearms Collectors & Their Collections

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