Leaving a Legacy: It’s About More Than Money

Leaving a Legacy: It’s About More Than Money

| February 12, 2020

When you hear the words “leaving a legacy,” what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, the first things you think of are financial inheritances and charitable donations. While this is often a major factor, it’s only one piece of the equation. Your life is about much more than money, and your legacy should be too.

What is Inheritance Planning?

While estate planning typically focuses on how to most effectively pass on your wealth, Inheritance Planninginvolves sharing your beliefs, life lessons, and the values that have made you who you are. Creating an Inheritance Plan gives you the power to leave a lasting impression on those whose lives you’ve touched.

It’s also a way to help ensure that your heirs are both mentally and emotionally prepared to handle the responsibility of receiving the inheritance you plan to give.

Unlike your estate planning documents, which are typically created and then set aside until you pass away, your Inheritance Plan is a roadmap that you begin to follow right away. By taking the time to articulate the things that are important to you and share your plan with your loved ones, you can create an ongoing conversation that helps you to you gradually and responsibly transfer the role of family leadership to the next generation.

Guided Self-Discovery

Creating an Inheritance Plan starts with self-reflection and defining your life’s purpose. You’ll begin by digging deep and answering important questions like:

  • Who are you?
  • What matters most to you?
  • What are your hopes for your family, now and in the future?

With the answers to these questions in mind, you can then develop a document that contains your personal story, values, standards, and guiding principles. A professional who is well-versed in Inheritance Planning can guide you through the self-discovery process and ensure that your document is structured appropriately for sharing your vision with future generations.

Sharing Your Legacy Plan

Once you’ve created your Inheritance Plan, you’ll want to begin sharing it with your loved ones right away. This is most effective when it’s approached as an open and honest conversation. Ideally, you’ll gather the entire family together in a comfortable setting, explain the process you’ve gone through, and share the details of your plan.

It’s important to remember that your Inheritance Plan isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of document. Instead, it’s meant to serve as a guide for helping your loved ones develop into responsible stewards of your estate. To this end, it’s recommended that you hold annual family meetings to review the Inheritance Plan, encourage active communication among family members, and foster family cohesiveness. Not only is this an extremely effective way to reinforce your vision, but it also allows you to take on the role of family mentor, further preparing our loved ones to receive their inheritance.

Are You Ready to Start Your Inheritance Plan?

As you begin contemplating your legacy, think about the values and lessons you would like to leave behind. If you’re not confident that you’ve effectively communicated these key principles, then now is a great time to start working on your Inheritance plan.

To learn more about our unique approach to Inheritance Planning, give us a call at 941-745-2799. We would love to share our vision with you and help guide you through the journey.