We all want to be remembered. We seek to live a life that leaves behind positive ripples in the universe. Whether we plan it out or not, we will essentially have some kind of legacy. If you’re looking to take an active role in the kind of financial legacy you leave behind, a little planning will go a long way. Having a legacy that is meaningful, impactful, and aligns with your personal convictions and views of the world, is important to everyone. Sometimes, however, people refrain from having the conversation or taking the first step of the plan because some people find it uncomfortable to broach the subject.
The term ‘legacy planning’ has actually become somewhat synonymous for a lot of people with the phrase ‘estate planning.’ Of course, when we hear the word legacy, many people have the mistaken assumption that it refers to only the rich and famous, celebrities, stars, or otherwise ‘prominent’ people in the culture. This is, in fact, one of the biggest misconceptions about legacy planning. A financial legacy, as well as a personal, is a concern for everyone because everyone wants to leave something meaningful behind. In many ways, your financial and personal legacies can be harmoniously intertwined. A legacy is, in a way, the transfer of family goals, dreams and aspirations for upcoming generations. Quality financial and legacy planning takes into consideration several aspects including:
- Financial education for all parties involved, including the younger generations
- Cross-generational understanding of what wealth means to your family
What Do You Envision Your Family’s Wealth Going Towards?
Identifying objectives and meaningful causes to your family is the first step towards a sound financial plan. This begins with open and trusted communications and discussions with family members. This is because trust and understanding of your family’s intentions is key in knowing which direction to go.
Start simple. Strategic planning aligns your values and goals with your investment strategy and wealth plan. The two best practices for successfully passing on the family wealth come in the form of: developing the family wealth goals and articulating them to trusted financial advisors and using your advisors expertise and knowledge to dig into the many options and possibilities available to you.
How Do I Incorporate My Values Into The Family Legacy?
Your family values may not be explicit or something that dominates the family table every night, but every family holds certain values and traditions that span generations. Articulating these values is a good beginning in finding the direction of where you want your money to go. It answers questions like: what are causes that are important to me and my family. This might take the shape of certain charitable causes or other organizations that stand or symbolize those values.
How Financial Considerations Play a Role in Estate Planning
Financial considerations are an essential part of planning your legacy. Planning ahead can also help you figure out just how to minimize the amount of taxes you pay and maximize the wealth you have to distribute. Other considerations include:
Who should receive the financial legacy?
What should they receive?
When should these assets be passed down or transferred?
There are, of course, a couple of ways to do this and they include anything and everything from:
- Life insurance
- A unique approach to an IRA
- Charity contributions
Changing the Way We Look At Legacy Planning
Planning what your wealth will accomplish and do after your death is not really about trying to control everything from beyond the grave. People often get self-conscious with the idea that they can and should have some say over what happens to your hard-earned wealth after you pass. By shifting your thinking and approaching the idea of a legacy as something you are building and pushing forward into the future. It is not about just you, it is about your family and the possibilities that lie with your financial legacy.
Don’t Put Off the Decision Making
Like we said, it’s not the easiest conversation to bring up, yet it will define something that is about way more than money. It’s not always about the distribution of dollar amounts, it’s about considering the values and traditions that you aim to define your family. Your financial legacy can come in the form of items of financial value, real estate, and financial assets.
The process of financial or estate planning is far from simple and requires the guidance of someone that is not only working to fulfill your vision and your desires but also knows the ropes in terms of different options available to you. No two legacy plans are the same. This is because people seek different ways to be remembered by.
Begin the Conversation With a Trusted Advisor
Here at Herrera Group, we specialize in helping and guiding people through the process of financial and estate planning. Our mission is to help the client look at the big picture, to understand the possibilities, and to lead them towards a decision that they are comfortable and passionate about.