Legacy: “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past” How do you want people to remember you? What family history do you want to preserve? This is all a part of your legacy and a few of the questions that you should consider throughout the legacy planning process.
Your legacy is all about who you are as a person and the values you choose to live by. Legacy planning helps you to preserve these values and pass them on to future generations in your family.
Silver Comet Village, a senior living community in Powder Springs, Georgia, is sharing what legacy planning is all about and tips for helping you successfully get through the process.
Legacy Planning vs. Estate Planning
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between legacy and estate planning. While estate planning focuses on the distribution of your assets, legacy planning is about the bigger picture.
Legacy planning involves more than just your financial assets. It encompasses your core values and ensures that they are passed down to future generations. This type of planning represents who you are, not just what you own.
What Does Legacy Planning Include?
Like estate planning, legacy planning includes how you want your financial assets to be distributed or divided after you are gone.
If a cause or foundation means a lot to you, setting up a foundation or a donation in your name should be a part of your legacy planning. By planning this out, you can make sure that your wealth goes to a cause or organization that you support and care about while ensuring your legacy will be remembered for future generations.
Family Heirlooms, Stories, and History
The most valuable things in life are not things at all, and you do not want your family’s history to disappear after you are gone. Who you are is a direct result of how you were raised and your family history. The same goes for your family members.
Including how you want to distribute family heirlooms, share documents or stories about your ancestors, and preserve all the history your family has created is a key part of the legacy planning process.
Tips for Planning Your Legacy
Have Open Conversations
“Whether you have near-term cash flow priorities, long-term wealth transfer plans, or philanthropic goals that will span generations, identifying your objectives is the first step when creating a legacy plan. Often, the best way to do this is through open and honest discussions with family members and trusted advisors (forbes.com).”
Conversations about finances, assets, and legacy planning can be difficult, especially if there are disagreements between family members. However, these conversations are a good way for you to share your values surrounding money, how you hope your heirs will use their inheritance, and how it can positively impact their lives.
Additionally, having open conversations about your legacy allows you to make your intentions clear to everyone involved. This way, there will be no surprises or confusion after you are gone.
Review Your Legacy Plan
It is a good practice to review your legacy plan at least every three to five years. The laws and rules can change, so it is good to stay up to date on these changes and modify your plan as needed.
Furthermore, you should review your legacy plan whenever a major life event happens in your family. For example, a marriage, divorce, or birth could change how you want your assets to be divided.
Your Legacy is About More Than Money
Try to focus on more than just the numbers involved in the legacy planning process. While it is important to establish a plan for distributing your wealth, remember that your legacy is about more than your assets. It is also about your values, beliefs, history, and family.
What your legacy plan comes down to is how you want to be remembered after you are gone. At Silver Comet Village, we value the power of sharing life stories, preserving memories, and building multi-generational relationships, all of which are part of the legacy planning process.
We invite you to contact a member of our senior living team in Powder Springs, Georgia, or visit our website to learn more about our welcoming community.
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