Outlasting your life—defining your legacy
If you stop for a minute and think about the future—what will outlast your life? How will your legacy be defined? Legacy is a concept, for many, that is not often thought about and not always a priority. However, it plays a vital role in strategizing your financial future.
As careers and families grow and mature, there is often a fundamental shift in how your future is viewed—from focusing on the here and now (buying homes, paying for college) to focusing on how to improve the lives of others in the future.
Many clients often seek guidance on how to think through this concept of legacy. It can be difficult to grasp because there are an infinite number of solutions that can create a benefit from both an emotional- and wealth-strategy perspective. The two main problems we help clients to tackle include passing wealth effectively within their family and creating a defined charitable intent. Below are some of the key questions and considerations to evaluate alongside your unique personal financial plan, as they can all effect on your cash flow, tax, estate, and retirement plan.
Passing down wealth effectively to the next generation:
- How much control would you like to cede?
- When would you like to gift—during your lifetime or upon your passing?
- How do you want to instill discipline and drive in your children?
- What type of ownership and when should they start being involved in managing their wealth?
- Should you think about each of the children differently?
- What tax or estate implications are there for each of these strategies?
Gifting to charitable entities:
- Do you want to have direct control over when and how the money is deployed?
- How involved do you want to be with the organization?
- Are you establishing this for multi-generational involvement?
- What types of property should you be gifting—stocks, bonds, cash, other?
- When is the best time to be making these charitable donations?
- Do you want to make these gifts anonymously?
Actively thinking about a legacy is a privilege that can be quite empowering. Many professionals, through their career, community, and family become invested in helping others. This can be a great tool for financial planning, but more importantly, can offer you the chance to help the people and causes that mean the most to you. Creating a legacy allows you to create benefits that outlast your life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
BDF LLC is a private wealth management firm. We provide personalized investment management and financial planning. We manage approximately $5.9 billion in assets for business owners, women, individuals and families, and institutions.
We also have Practice Groups that specialize in the unique needs of:
- Financial Professionals
- Insurance Brokers and Agency Owners
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