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June 16th, 2017
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(W)e have a self-interested desire that our own interests and values be preserved by future people after our own death, on pain that we disappear from the world without any legacy of influence. This existential fear we overcome by permitting institutions to honour the wishes of the dead in order to guarantee a place for our wishes in the future. But it is time to recognise the vanity and narcissism of the practice, and do what is actually best for the living, which is to have the living determine it for themselves. – Barry Lam

By Ron Nakamoto

Over a decade ago, Empowered Wealth commissioned a study on the concerns and fears of affluent families. One of top concerns was the loss of legacy described in the essay below by Barry Lam. Mr. Lam, however, using the analogy of a perpetual voting right, takes the position that in essence the way estate planning has been practiced – perpetuating the wishes of the deceased – is misguided.

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Is it moral to respect the wishes of the dead, above the living? – Barry Lam | Aeon Ideas
Imagine what a country would be like if every person could secure a vote in elections that happened after their death. If you stated your preferences in your will, you could execute a vote for the conservative, liberal, Asian, or White Separatist …

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