Estate & Legacy Planning

Estate Planning

Estate planning is essential in financial planning.  Executing a valid will and the necessary nominations saves untold hours of work, confusion and conflict that a person who dies intestate (without a will) leaves.  Proper estate planning ensures that ownership transfer of your assets to the designated beneficiaries occur with minimal fuss.   When planned, you can predetermine the timing and quantum of wealth distribution in a manner you determine best.

One key aspect is to make your own appointments of executors, trustees and guardians in the event of your premature demise.  This is challenging, but if not addressed by you will need to be made by others and subject to the due legal process.  All of this can be costly and imposes responsibility and inconvenience to those left to attend to your estate.

Ancilliary to these issues are also the preparation of a valid Lasting Power of Attorney (appointing donees should you lose your mental capacity) and setting up the Advanced Medical Directive.

However, estate planning overlooks one crucial issue – the readiness of your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance.   Rather than focusing on whether your money will remain safely in the hands of your children, it is more critical to ensure your children will be remain safe with your money.  Before wealth is transferred, wisdom must first be imparted.

Legacy Planning

One critical decisions we’ll each make before we die is to appoint the next steward of all we leave behind.

Legacy planning ensures your beneficiaries are first prepared to take on their roles responsibly.  They do not become stewards without intentional nurturing and influence from one who is already there.  The absence of legacy planning is the primary reason families experience riches to rags in three generations.

Intentionally done, families thrive for generations as they live into a common family vision that empowers and blesses them for long term success.

Indeed effective legacy planning is key to finishing well.

Estate Planning / Wealth PlanningLegacy Planning
The donor’s concern is priorityThe recipients are the priority
Grow wealthGrow & develop heirs
Transition wealthInculcate & transition values
Impacts one generationImpacts multiple generations
Involves professionals now, family laterInvolves family now, professional  later

Legacy planning considers family wealth in the context of family identity and communication.