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A good estate plan goes beyond deciding who gets what and how much after you die. It should also address your hopes before you die – the things you hope to achieve later in life and what legacy you want to leave behind besides your assets. How do you want to be remembered?

Spouses need to start by asking each other, “What is the most important thing I’d like to accomplish before I die?” Spouses need to think about how their estate could make a difference after they have passed on.

Ask yourselves, “What do we want to contribute for our grandchildren’s education?” Do we want to leave money for scholarships at our college or do we have sufficient funds to leave to charities, and if so, which charities to we want to benefit?

At the very least, you should consider an “ethical” will that transmits your important beliefs and principles to your survivors and heirs. It is critical that people pass along their values before they pass along their valuables.

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