Planning your legacy is an important part of the whole financial planning process, and goes a long way to ensuring your family is protected and able to flourish. A big part of making plans for your children and grandchildren is sharing those plans with your financial adviser and, of course, your family. This will help everyone to understand your wishes, as well as preventing any confusion once you’re no longer there. It also starts a conversation about how money is treated in your family. This is a good place to establish traditions and pass on values that have helped you get to where you are today.
Read more: What is legacy planning?
We want to help you make legacy planning an ongoing dialogue, so here are five things to talk about when you start the conversation:
Assets and liabilities
Start by listing and sharing all of your assets – these include case, investments and property, as well as any debts. This helps your family see the complete picture, the full scope of your estate, and make a note of any actions they’ll need to undertake once they inherit.
For instance: will a property need to be sold? Will a trust needing attention require contact with trustees they might not have been aware of? Is there a business that either needs to be sold or passed on to new ownership within the family?
Your family will need to know where your important documents are. To help with this, bring together all your legacy planning documents such as your will, any power of attorney, documents relating to trust, stock certifications – the more you can collect together, the bigger the help. Ensure these are kept in a secure and accessible location.
Decide what responsibilities will need to be shared among your family members, and who will take overall ownership of ensuring your legacy plan is carried out according to your wishes.
Your precise intentions should already feature in your will, however, reviewing these with your family is always a good idea. Make sure you provide clear reasons behind every decision such as gifting or guardianship of children; your family will be grateful for the clarity as this avoids uncertainty once you’re no longer there to guide. It’s also a good opportunity to pass on family values.
Your protection plan
Inform your family of the steps you’ve taken to protect your legacy. You may have life insurance that would go some way to help cover medical expenses, or policies that protect cash to help pay estate taxes or debts.
Getting started with this conversation will go a long way to reassuring your family that they can protect your legacy. Regularly reviewing your plan with your financial adviser will ensure everything is kept on track. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch.