You could take a surface approach to estate planning and cover the basics, but there is another option. When you engage in the process of legacy planning, you take steps to enhance the way that you will be remembered when you are gone.
Passing along monetary resources is part of the equation, but there are other types of gifts that can be given. If you have family heirlooms in your possession, they certainly have meaning to you, and others have probably have asked about them over the years.
You can remember these conversations and use some of your own deductions to determine the best caretaker for each item going forward. This type of gift giving is profound, and you may want to get started before you pass away to share the experiences with your loved ones.
Personal Memoirs and Family History
The phrase “I could write a book” is commonly used by people that feel as though they have countless noteworthy stories to tell. You may not consider yourself to be an author, but you could take the time to record your personal memoirs.
Many people become interested in exploring their roots at some point in time. As an elder, you have knowledge about your family that would be invaluable to any relative that is interested in their genealogy. You can pass along this information as one of your parting gifts.
The ethical will is an interesting document that has been used since biblical times. Traditionally, elders used ethical wills to record their moral and spiritual values in an effort to provide some written “rules to live by.”
Many modern psychologists that focus on end-of-life mindsets recommend ethical wills, but they emphasize the fact that there are no rules with regard to the contents of the document.
You can look at it as a final letter to the people that you love the most, and you can share anything that you would like them to know or consider.
If you are in a position to support causes and/or institutions that are meaningful to you, acts of charitable giving can bolster your legacy. A private foundation is a possibility, and many people are surprised to hear that most private family foundations are funded with less than $1 million.
A donor advised fund would be another option. You can make one contribution to the fund, and you can ask the fund to spread the resources among multiple different charities. This is an efficient way to give, and these funds are quite popular.
There are also charitable trusts that can be utilized to actualize your philanthropic intentions.
On the financial level, if you have been very successful, you have to be concerned about the potential impact of the federal estate tax. It carries a 40 percent top rate, and this can take a significant chunk out of your legacy.
There are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to this tax if this is a source of concern, and we can help you implement an effective estate tax efficiency strategy.
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On the financial level, if you have been very successful, you have to be concerned about the potential impact.
If you know that you should work with an estate planning lawyer at the Oakley Law Group to develop a legacy plan, there is no time like the present. We can gain an understanding of your financial position, your family dynamic, and your goals to help you devise a plan that covers all your bases.