Despite the gloom associated with legacy planning, it is incredibly important to have a plan in place should the worst happen. Having a financial strategy ready to hand your assets to your loved ones in exactly the way you see fit starts with a few short steps:
- Defining your financial goals and objectives
- Defining your core values and family beliefs
- Who are your beneficiaries?
- What are your intentions for the distribution of your assets during and/or after life?
- Are there any existing plans and documents you’ve already put together to prepare your legacy planning?
- What investments do you have?
Set your objectives
Identifying what you want to do with your wealth is the first vital step to legacy planning. You might have long-term wealth transfer plans or philanthropic goals that will span generations; you might just want your kids to go on a nice holiday. Ask your family and loved ones what they would do with any wealth you passed on. Factoring your objectives into your legacy planning strategy will help you avoid the probate process and can help you maximise your wealth and minimise expenses.
You’ll also need to fit estate planning into your legacy. Estate documents will help you appoint guardians for minors, establish your last wishes and appoint somebody to make healthcare decisions in case you cannot.
Align them with your values
Everyone has a set of values that guide them through life, but more often than not, these values are not easily articulated. Think about what causes, if any, you find important. If you want your money to have a lasting impact on your community or a particular charity, it might be best to talk with your loved ones about what your values and aspirations are. That way you can develop a detailed wealth plan that fits with your legacy goals.
Fit it all together
Strategic planning helps to align your values and goals with your overall wealth plan. Individuals who successfully implement their desired legacy and transition their wealth to the next generations typically follow two key practices:
- They develop robust wealth goals they want to achieve.
- They speak to professional advisers to determine what strategies will best meet those goals.
A few little extras…
There are a couple of options you may also want to factor into your legacy planning:
- Considering an ‘in case of emergency’ (ICE) pack. An ICE pack contains all the documents your family will turn to in the event of your death, including your will, details of your bank accounts, insurances and vital contact details.
- Ensuring you have an up to date will. The will is everything when it comes to legacy planning. Writing a will gives you certainty of mind when it comes to the future of your assets.
Legacy planning is, in the end, a collaborative effort. Speaking to those around you can help inform your decision about the execution of your legacy. Your family and other loved ones can often provide you with an honest picture of how you should enact it.
When you make a plan, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to assign meaningful value to your wealth, and by developing a strategy that closely aligns with your goals, you can create an enduring legacy that really makes an impact.
For more information on what strategies will help you to get the most out of your legacy, feel free to get in touch.