Regarding your legacy, you want to ensure that your work and influence stand the test of time. You must take the required actions to ensure it’s done correctly.
Estate planning can help you accomplish this. It involves several documents that outline how you would like your assets distributed after your death.
Determine Your Goals
During your lifetime, you accumulate real, personal, tangible, and intangible property that is often left to others upon your death. You can decide your goals for how these things should be dispersed both during your life and after you pass away with the assistance of an estate planning lawyer.
Your estate planning goal may be to provide financial security for your loved ones, give them a legacy they can pass on to future generations, or support a cause or charitable organization you care about.
A financial advisor can help you develop a legacy strategy that aligns with your values and principles and provides opportunities for tax benefits. Additionally, you can set up a donor-advised fund or a qualified charitable contribution to leave money for particular charities or causes that are important to you.
Create a Plan
An estate planning attorney can assist in developing a strategy that supports your objectives and guarantees you leave your loved ones and heirs in the best possible situation. They can assist you in avoiding intra-family conflicts, maximizing your eligibility for government assistance, and lowering asset taxes.
To get started, take a detailed inventory of your assets. This includes real estate, bank accounts, retirement plans, annuities, and other financial resources you own.
Then, check if you’ve named beneficiaries on any of these accounts. If you still need to, designate them before you die. This can save time, money, and headaches for your heirs at the end of your life.
Implement Your Plan
A plan can provide you and your family great peace of mind. It will also save you the time, expense, and stress of making decisions during a difficult time.
Your estate plan may include a will, trust, or other legal documents. A good estate planning attorney can help you devise a strategy to maximize your legacy.
The right attorney will welcome your questions, offer answers that you understand and make you feel comfortable. They should be able to make a strategy specific to your requirements and situation.
Review Your Plan Regularly
As your life and goals evolve, so should your estate plan. That’s why reviewing your estate planning documents regularly is essential, ideally every three or five years.
Besides significant life events, such as marriage or divorce, births or deaths, a change in your financial situation is another trigger for an update.
For example, if you receive an inheritance, win the lottery, or gain significant money on investments, adjusting your plans to reflect these changes is a good idea.
It would help if you ensured that the individuals you selected as your executor, power of attorney, health care agent, and successor trustee are still the people you want to serve in these roles. If they no longer are, it’s a good idea to rethink their suitability for those roles and replace them with someone you feel will serve your needs well.
Make Changes When Necessary
If you undergo a significant life event, such as marriage, adoption, the birth of a child, or death, your estate plan will probably need to be modified. In this case, you should talk with an attorney specializing in this law area.
You can develop and carry out your legacy plan with the aid of an estate planning attorney. They can also routinely assess your objectives and make any necessary adjustments.
Once your legacy plan is in place, you can use it to ensure your family will receive the wealth and financial security they deserve. This can include minimizing what goes to taxes and helping your beneficiaries save money for the future.