Legacy planning can be broadly defined as a more comprehensive, complete form of estate planning. People with considerable resources have opportunities to create a legacy beyond their money, a legacy that will persist after they are gone.
If you are in this position, you can be creative about the way that you provide for your loved ones. Charitable giving may be part of the plan. Aside from direct contributions, you could establish a private foundation or establish a donor-advised fund with a public charity.
We will get into some of the possibilities in another post, but we are going to go in another direction here. There are some things that money simply can’t buy. You can add a dimension to your estate plan if you embrace some of the following ideas.
Ethical wills emerged from Judaic tradition when people started using them during biblical times. This type of will is about more than your money. In it, you share your moral and spiritual values with your loved ones.
In addition to the traditional approach, some people prefer to share those values in more of a free-form document. In this important document you share your values, what you stood for in life, your mistakes, and lessons learned. There are no set rules with regard to what you express. Either the ethical will or a separate document accompanying your estate planning papers can be viewed as a final letter to your family members.
It can be instructive for your children and future generations of your family. It’s even possible that the act of writing this document will be cathartic for you.
Distribution of Family Heirlooms
Some people pass away with family heirlooms in their possession. Some have substantial monetary value. Quite often, they are sold at auctions with the money distributed to beneficiaries.
This is one way to approach the matter, but you may want to go in a different direction. You can inventory your heirlooms and think about the ideal caretaker for each one. These gifts can be extremely meaningful, and you may want to consider making them while you are still alive.
If you have the time and the inclination, you should consider writing your personal memoirs. This can be combined with the document we mentioned in the earlier section. When you are gone, people that read them will come away with a more complete understanding of your path. This undertaking may also serve as an opportunity for you to release some suppressed emotions.
Genealogy websites are very popular, yet there is no substitute for the personal recollections of older family members. When you are devising your legacy plan, you can record everything you know about your ancestors, allowing members of your family to experience your memories.
Access Our Estate Planning Worksheet
You reached this website because you are looking for information about estate planning and elder law. We have hundreds of blog posts that you can explore, and there are other written resources available, including our estate planning worksheet.
If you take the time to go through it, you will come away with a more thorough understanding of the process. To get your copy, visit our worksheet access page and follow the simple instructions.
Need Help Now?
We know that it can be difficult to discuss personal matters with someone you have just met. This is one of the reasons why most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning, even though they know that it is important.
All of our team members are in this field because we sincerely care about our neighbors and their families. Our goal is to help you protect your legacy for the benefit of your loved ones, and you will recognize our commitment to your well-being whenever you interact with anyone on our staff.
If you are ready to put a plan in place, you can schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney in Oklahoma City if you give us a call at 405-843-6100. Our office in Overland Park, Kansas can be reached at 913-385-9400, and you can fill out our contact form if you would like to send us a message.