Lately, I’ve fielded a lot of questions about how estate planning can help protect one’s family, so today, I’ve invited Adam Shiells from Shiells and Hammer to help me explain.

As Adam says, “protecting your assets is protecting your family.” We don’t normally think of it that way, but it really makes sense when you think of a word like your “legacy.” You raise your kids and protect them so they can become productive adults, and you also acquire and protect your assets. Those two come together when you pass in the hope that the next generation can do a little bit better, and it continues on that upward path for many generations to come.

A good estate plan is part of that process by ensuring that your assets make it to your successive generations.

Think of it like this: When your kids are young, you’ll ask someone to care for your children should anything happen to you. Nobody ever puts that in writing, though. With Adam, estate planning includes guardianship designation.

Another thing to think about is that it’s hard to know if kids will be responsible enough at age 18 to manage everything you’ve acquired in your life. Estate planning with Adam often also includes a ‘continuing trust,’ which lasts well beyond age 18 for them. You can name somebody who is older and more experienced with finances to manage the wealth on their behalf and make payments for things like health needs, school, or real estate, to name a few.

All those expenses can be handled from the trust, but the kid won’t be able to put their hands directly on the money until they reach an age you’re comfortable with it.

Now, these are just two examples of how estate planning can help you protect your family and your legacy. If you’d like to learn more about estate planning, you can reach Adam at 916.917.5914 or email him at

As always, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email with any other questions about buying a home, selling a home, or securing financing. I’m always here to help.