Working wealthy—prioritize your estate plan

Maybe we should start calling estate planning something other than an estate plan. For some, an “estate plan” feels imposing. Typically, when someone thinks of an “estate,” they think of the English countryside with rolling green manicured lawns and a stately mansion nestled in the middle of all the green, like on “Downton Abbey.”

And while the word “plan” seems a bit less imposing, it still sounds like something absolute—with many steps and instructions that need to be followed. So, if either word or the term itself shuts you down, you are in good company. The majority of clients, friends and family members simply don’t want to deal with it.

Here, we’ve included 3 simple steps to start tackling estate planning:

1. Start

Understanding your priorities is the most thoughtful way to start your estate plan. Start with what matters most to you. Is it your family? Your wealth or financial well-being? It could even be something like the wish to not end up like others you know. Online, you can find a number of prompts to help you think about the personal nature of your priorities and what is truly important to you.

2. Think

Setting your priorities will not happen while you’re doing something else, even if it is meditating. Set aside time, take a half-day on the weekend, whatever you need, but be sure to give yourself time to think. And remember that you may need a few sessions to identify your full list of priorities.

3. Adapt

Even after an estate plan is drafted and executed, it is not written in stone unless you’ve made irrevocable decisions (rely on your adept and skilled estate planning attorney to prevent you from mistakenly doing this). The same is true for your priorities. As they change over time, you’ll have the opportunity to update your plan. Remember to allow time and space for this as well.

Your estate plan is a big deal, but the process does not need to overwhelm you. Focus on you first and what is most important to you. In the end, that’s all that matters.


BDF LLC is a private wealth management firm. We provide personalized investment management and financial planning. We manage approximately $5.9 billion in assets for business owners, women, individuals and families, and institutions.

We also have Practice Groups that specialize in the unique needs of:

  • Attorneys
  • Divorce
  • Executives
  • Financial Professionals
  • Insurance Brokers and Agency Owners
  • Widows


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