Richard Branson Estate Planning

By Terrie and Jon Hull

Richard Branson Virgin

This past Tuesday, PBS aired an episode of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. as the host. This show is a fascinating quest to uncover guests ancestry as far back as possible, including DNA testing to determine which nationalities have been a part of their past. There is a link to the full episode later in this post.

One of the people featured in this episode was Sir Richard Branson, an entrepreneur and chief architect of the global Virgin brand. Mr. Branson was unaware of most of family history which aside from his predominant English roots, included roots in Australia and India as well.

As you may know, Terrie and I are proponents and warriors towards teaching people how to put their affairs in order to prepare for creating an estate plan. This planning is critical. It is a legal instrument which allows you to possibly play a powerful role in shaping the future of your family, which happened in Mr. Branson’s past. He was unaware of this until he was on this show.

You see, Mr. Branson’s great, great, great grandfather had a Will created and had left more than two million dollars, by today’s standards, to his four surviving grandchildren. In turn, these grandchildren were good stewards of these funds for generations. Watching Mr. Branson absorb this new information was incredible. He appears stunned and reflective. He cites good fortune and kindness as the foundation for giving in this way. He also states “…..I wouldn’t be sitting here today if that hadn’t happened”.

Most of us have an opportunity to pay it forward in this way. It might not be millions of dollars, but we can make a difference for our future family at some point in time many years from now. Leaving a college fund to grandchildren, leaving a house, leaving a business, leaving a patent, whatever it may be, can reduce the financial burden of future family members. This act of kindness could be the catalyst which empowers someone in your ever expanding family tree to soar both personally and professionally. Who knows what they might achieve, a new technology, an environmental breakthrough, new medical advances, a new global brand? Sure, they may just squander it, but that’s just the other side of the coin you toss through estate planning and how your family was taught about protecting their finances. We choose to be optimistic about the future of our family.

Click here to view the entire episode http://www.pbs.org/weta/finding-your-roots/visionaries-full-episode/14999/

(Terrie and Jon Hull are Authors / Life & Legacy Information Experts. They focus most of their efforts toward bringing awareness to people on how to put their affairs in order, but also write on subjects that keep you and your finances safe. Visit http://www.ALegacyUndone.com for more information.)

 

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