It seems as though we are constantly being reminded how important it is to create an estate plan, but what about planning your legacy? Your legacy is more than just the division and distribution of your assets, but what is it?
People have defined “legacy” in many ways. At the end of the day, your legacy is what you leave behind. It is what you are remembered for and encompasses your values, your opinions, and your beliefs as well as your life’s work and passions. These things are a bit harder to incorporate into an estate plan, but it can be done.
In fact, your estate plan offers numerous ways for you to pass on your beliefs, values and opinions. The terms that you incorporate into a trust, for example, offer the ability to guide your beneficiaries along the path of life. An educational trust, for example, lets you include terms that require the beneficiary to attend a specific school or even major in a specific field. In addition, creating a charitable trust can allow you the ability continue giving to a cause that you feel passionate about long after you are gone.
If it matters to you what legacy you leave behind, work with your estate planning attorney to incorporate your legacy into your estate plan. By working closely with your attorney, you can create a plan that does much more than simply pass down your assets – it can also pass down your legacy.