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South Burlington, VT

Value Creation Blog

I’m Going To Leave All My Money To Charity

gift wrappedI bet you’ve heard someone say that or read it in the press.  Every once in a while some famous person either becomes disgusted or doesn’t want to leave too much to their children.  It’s becoming part of the conversation that we’re having in this country.

You’ve heard Bill Gates and Warren Buffet say this.

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Topics: communication, personal value, estate planning

5 Reasons You Need To Share Your Will

Last Will and Testament resized 600I’ve often asked you the question, “Do you have a will?”  I ask this because it’s a document that too many people have never gotten around to putting together.  Even fewer have updated their will in the last five years, and even rarer are the people who bother to share what they have in their will with those affected.

Your will is a document about your life.

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Topics: finances, family, estate planning

How Cancer Changed My View Of Death

op edWe’re all going to die.  We know it, and we do everything in our power to pretend that death is not the real end.  We use terms like moving on.  The truth is we’re not moving on, we’re dead and we’ve stopped.

This is not to say that death isn’t scary for me, it is.  I’ve just come to terms with death in a way that you may have not.

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Topics: end of life, lessons learned, estate planning

Do You Have A Will?

last will testament1 resized 600If you’re like about 50% of the American population your answer will be no.  It’s even worse when you look at the number of people who haven’t looked at their will in five years.

We all know we should have a will, and at the same time very few of us have one.  Even fewer have told our loved ones what’s in our will.  What’s up with that?  Do you really want to keep your wishes a secret from those you value enough to put in your will?

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Topics: end of life, family, estate planning

Do You Do Life Or Does Life Do You?


I was thinking about this question as it relates to how cancer patients handle their disease.

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Topics: communication, Focus, estate planning

What Is Business Wealth Management?

Wealth Management
I recently got into a conversation with someone who said that it appears that what I call wealth management is anything a business owner could experience.  I don’t think this is completely true, but I can see how they would believe that.

In my opinion wealth management for private business owners is broken into two parts:

The financial portion: where we’re dealing with the material wealth and cash flow of the business owner.  The non-financial portion: that deals with what’s important in addition to becoming financially independent and financially safe.

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Topics: retirement planning, for business owners, wealth management, private business owners, Legacy Planning, estate planning

4 Lessons I learned From My Father

Ben PatrickMy father was a pretty typical first generation business owner.  He worked very hard, was a tough taskmaster both at work and at home and spoke his mind in a very forceful manner. 

Sometimes this manner was so overpowering that those around him wanted to hide.  At the same time his rants usually had more than a little bit of truth in them.

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Topics: mission vision values and goals, lessons learned, Elders role in business, Mission statement, estate planning

Three Uses Of An 831(b) Captive Insurance Company

831 (b) captiveThis post is for the techno geeks among us who use complicated planning structures with our Clients.

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Topics: value creation, 831(b) captive insurance company, captive insurance, 831(b) captive, estate planning

Is A Family Or Personal Mission Statement Important?

Mission StatementI spend a lot of time working on corporate mission statements.  My rules are very simple for a corporate statement.  The statement must be short (no more than seven to ten words), be integrated in everything the company does and describe the overarching function of the company.  For example, our firm’s mission statement is to help make our Clients lives better.

This brings me to the following question; is it important for a family and an individual to also have a mission statement?  For me, the answer on the personal front is an absolute yes.  And, if we’re going to have a cohesive family the answer for a family mission statement is also a yes.

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Topics: mission vision values and goals, wealth management, Mission statement, estate planning

Wealth Management - 6 Ways An Inheritance Can Change Your Life

Inheritance changing your lifeWhen one receives an inheritance there is usually a bit of sadness that accompanies the financial largess.  Because we often associate receiving an inheritance with emotional strain and stress it’s often better to sit back and wait before we spend any money.

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Topics: financial planning, wealth management, inheritance, sudden money, estate planning

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