A lot of people look at their estate as the assets that they wind up with after they pass away, and they plan accordingly. “Wind up with” is the operative phrase, because this approach doesn’t include any goal setting or advanced planning in terms of what they would like to leave behind. They may plan ahead to make sure that they are provided for during their retirement, but during that long-term planning phase the only goal is to get through retirement without regard for their legacy. Different people have different objectives when it comes to their estate, and this is one way of looking at it.
However, there are others who know exactly what they would like to provide for their loved ones after they pass on. So when they are making long term financial plans they include their estate goals as well as their retirement goals. When you have worked hard all of your life you may want to add a layer of meaning onto it all, and being able to do things for your family after you are gone can help to define your life’s purpose. This is true for many different types of people, but it can be especially poignant for those who had a long uphill struggle without much assistance from anyone. Being able to provide opportunities for education or perhaps the availability of business capital to your grandchildren and even great-grandchildren can be extremely rewarding as you look back and evaluate your accomplishments.
The point here is that you may want to set goals concerning what you would like your estate to accomplish even before you have amassed the means to make this a reality. Work toward achieving these goals throughout your life and when everything is in place, the totality of your wishes will be actualized and your legacy can be a lasting one that endures for generations to come.
Legacy APC, A Trusts & Estates Law Firm is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.