Estate and Legacy Planning

Transferring Wealth and Wisdom

What do you really want your money to do: today, tomorrow, and after you are gone?

Really good estate and legacy planning is grounded in authentic inquiry into these questions. It looks at what wealth needs to be managed (e.g., stocks, real property, human capital) and what the current owners want to do with it: for themselves, their families, and their communities.

This approach, when coupled with sound technical trust management, leads to the most successful estates and legacies. As with all other wealth management, clearly defined goals is the key, and should involve a few key points of discussion:

  • teaching your children about money and how you would like them to relate to it;
  • managing inherited wealth;
  • having a productive, satisfying retirement;
  • caring for aging parents;
  • leaving specific types of legacies (financial, human capital, within the family, to foundations or non-profits, etc.); and
  • fulfilling your lifelong dreams.

For example, saying “I want to leave something to my alma mater,” is a good start, but doesn’t really get you there. How much? What should the money be used for? Similarly, simply stating, “I want my money to go to my spouse, then my kids, then my grand kids,” doesn’t clearly define for survivors what your intentions are. Do you want the kids and grand kids to wait for their share until your spouse is gone? How sustantial do you envision your legacy to be?

The same holds for managing an estate—even a modest one—during your lifetime. And, with relatively new trust laws in place, it is important to understand your goals and your options. Talk to us to see how thorough estate planning can help you achieve practical goals with your money: today, tomorrow, and after you are gone.

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