When it comes to the topic of elder law, there may be a lot on your mind. For example, you may wonder if you need to make changes to your estate plan. Or maybe you have been thinking about insurance, such as long term care and life policies.
Many people think about estate planning and the first thing that comes to mind is tangible items. What will happen to the house when I pass on? Who will get the money in my bank and retirement accounts? While there is nothing wrong with planning for the future of your things, you need to think about something else: your loved ones.
There is a lot of value in your family history, beliefs, and family heirlooms. This is where legacy planning comes into play.
Here is a brief excerpt from our legacy planning webpage that explains this in greater depth:
“Legacy Planning is a more holistic approach to estate planning. It is the creation of a definitive plan for managing your total wealth while you’re alive, distributing your estate how you choose after your death, and a clear plan to pass on your legacy. Your estate includes all assets of any value that you own. This includes non-financial assets as well as financial assets, including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, retirement accounts and personal property. Your legacy also includes important decisions that ensure your family’s core values, responsible behaviors and community involvement, are passed on to future generations.”
Along with the above, your legacy also includes any stories, wisdom, or personal effects that you want to pass down to the next generation.
5 Top Legacy Planning Tips
Even with this information guiding you, you may still have some questions regarding legacy planning. After all, most of your time in the past may have been spent on making sure your tangible items will end up in the right hands upon your death.
If you want to get started with legacy planning, there are several tips you can follow to get on the right track. Here are five of the best:
- Review your legacy plan every few years. Things can and will change over time. Your prior decisions may not be what you are comfortable with today. When you review your legacy plan often, you never have to worry about dying with the wrong plan in place.
- Review your plan after major life events. Did your spouse pass on? Do you now have more grandchildren? Did you go through a divorce? If you are faced with any type of major life event, it’s time to revisit your legacy plan.
- Know your gifting plan inside and out. Some people have a gifting plan in place, allowing them to give away some of their heirlooms before passing on. If this is something you want to do, make sure you remain on schedule at all times.
- Be aware of changes to the law. Estate planning laws can and will change over time. Make sure you stay current with any changes in your state, as they can impact your estate and legacy planning decisions.
- Review your plan if your financial circumstances change. Has your business closed down? Did you receive an inheritance of your own? These are the types of major financial changes that will impact your legacy plan.
Legacy planning means something different to everyone. If you are confused as to what to do next, the five tips above will point you in the right direction.
Do you still have questions about legacy planning? Like many, you may not fully understand what this process entails and which decisions you should be making.
We strive to provide you with high quality advice. For example, you can download our free report entitled “Fifteen Common Reasons To Do Estate Planning.” Upon doing so, you will have a clear idea of why now is a good time to create an estate plan.
Legacy planning may not be something you look forward to, but it’s the responsible thing to do. Don’t hold back any longer. Don’t wait around to make key decisions regarding your estate plan. Instead, focus on moving forward in the near future.
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