Creating a legacy is a valuable aspect of estate planning.
You know you need an estate plan.
You want to minimize the issues your family will have to sort through after your death.
Where do you start?
How do you begin thinking through your wishes?
According to a recent The Street article titled “Planning Your Legacy: More Than Just Finances,” a good place to begin is with the four pillars of estate planning.
What are these?
You will pass more to your family than accumulated wealth.
You have lived a full life.
You have learned many lessons and made many memories.
Document these and share them with your loved ones.
Pillar 2: Instructions and Wishes to be Fulfilled.
An estate plan includes having the legal documents to provide instructions for care or finances should you become incapacitated.
You also need to document your wishes for preserving and distributing your assets after you die.
To ensure these are done properly, work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Pillar 3: Personal Possessions of Emotional Value.
Not all possessions carry monetary worth.
Some carry memories.
What things do you own that may have special meaning to certain family members.
Talk about who will get what when it comes to these emotional assets, so your loved ones are aware of your wishes.
Pillar 4: Financial Assets and Real Estate.
Inventory your high-value assets.
This could include items such as antiques, jewelry, art, investments, retirement accounts, life insurance, and real estate.
Once you know what you have, your estate planning attorney can help you create a plan to preserve and distribute all of it according to your specific circumstances.
As you create your estate plan, do not keep your loved ones in the dark.
Talk with them.
They will thank you.
Reference: The Street (September 19, 2018) “Planning Your Legacy: More Than Just Finances”