Estate Planning as an Economic and Community Development Initiative
The Griffin Firm has chosen business and estate planning as its principle areas of practice because of its commitment to economic and community development. Our practice is located in the urban core and primarily serves clients who live within urban centers. We demonstrate our commitment to economic development by supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses. Small businesses have been recognized as the economic engine of the nation. They employ local people without access to or preference for larger corporations. This economic benefit strengthens the community. Small business ownership empowers a community with an economic base that fosters relationships, stability and community involvement. The successful small business owner is able to create an economic platform for his family as well as his employees.
With more than 20 years of supporting entrepreneurs, we at the Griffin Firm understand that economic development plans need to project beyond the life of the entrepreneur. The succession and estate planning of a small business is critical to support families and communities by transferring created wealth from generation to generation. The Good Book tells us that our “people perish for the lack of knowledge” as well as a “good person leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” The legacy we create in growing, nurturing and educating our children can be easily dismantled if we don’t plan to transfer it carefully.
In our work, we are able to rejoice with families who create the plans of succession where their “empires” resulting in the maintenance of their “empires” which can provide for the creators and lay a foundation for upcoming generations.. We also mourn with the families we support through the loss of property that has been accumulated through their hard work. These tragedies happen when a home is lost through a reverse mortgage, Medicaid liens or unanticipated tax burdens.
More than anything, we love the opportunity to educate people on how to build assets through entrepreneurship and business development as well as strategically planning for their estate to enable their family to enjoy the fruits of their labor for generations to come.
We have had people claim they were simply “not ready” to create an estate plan including a 93-year-old mother! Not one of us knows the exact hour when we will need our plan, but my promise is that there is no detriment in planning and not using the plan but there is a world of detriment in not planning but needing a plan.
Many of us are inspired to build a legacy for the betterment of the people we care about. The cost of not planning is great for your family and for your community. The number of homes that are lost through foreclosure and the probate process is significant in our community. This loss drives down the property values throughout the community.
If we employ the steps necessary to build up our individual economic conditions, our families and our communities will prosper.
The Washington Informer: Article – January 2016