What Is Life And Legacy Planning?
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
In this episode we discuss family legacies which got me thinking about life and legacy planning: what is it, why is it important, and why should an entrepreneur care?
According to Investopedia, legacy planning is a financial strategy that prepares people to bequeath, which means to leave (a personal estate or one's body) to a person or other beneficiary via a will, their assets to a loved one or next of kin after death.
These affairs are usually planned and organized by a financial advisor.
Legacy planning is much like estate planning, but you can also pass on less tangible items, such as imparting certain valuables to loved ones or establishing a focus on charitable giving, according to Prudential.
Legacy planning is created so an individual(s) can help with the individual's small business or other assets that require maintenance after an individual passes.
Legacy planning can also help with setting up trusts in order to skip probate, which is the legal process in which a will is reviewed to determine whether it is valid and authentic, and that process can take months or even years.
According to caring.com, only 4 of 10 Americans have a will or living trust in place (I don’t). However, since the beginning of the pandemic, estate planning has seen a 50% increase in those aged 18-34.
Additionally, Americans who have had a serious case of COVID-19 were 66% more likely to have a will than those who have not had COVID-19.
Sadly, 1 in 3 Americans who have no will or living trust claim they don’t have enough assets to leave behind, according to the same survey by caring.com. We cannot leave a financial legacy if we are not financially secure enough to amass a legacy to begin with, and that is why legacy planning is important.
Legacy planning also involves protecting loved ones from financials risks, especially if there are dependents that rely on the entrepreneur's support. Seeking life insurance is an aspect of legacy planning, and having life insurance can provide additional financial protection for dependents.
I am not a financial advisor, but I would highly recommend seeking one out, build a trusting relationship, and start planning your legacy.
This starts with gathering information about assets: bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, insurance policies, and other information.
It is very important to think about who the assets will be left with including donations such as leaving property to a charity, i.e., car, house, etc.
Know the laws! Local, State, and Federal Laws. Federal laws will apply consistently regardless of your location, but State and Local laws will differ depending where the entrepreneur resides.
But the most important thing is for the entrepreneur to leave exact instructions on how the legacy is to be executed by the trust. I am talking down to the T, and work with trusted professionals to ensure wishes remain in accordance with the legacy plan.
And that is why an entrepreneur should care.
We are in a time of high inflation, something 9 of 10 Americans are worried about according to a recent poll by the New York Times. When inflation hits, many of us must make difficult financial decisions, often postponing or even abandoning the idea of estate planning, according to caring.com.
This message is not just for entrepreneurs.
Just over half of post graduate degree holders have a legacy plan in place. In 2021, the percentage of high school graduates with a legacy plan was only 31%, yet still higher than those with a 2-year associate degree, 25%.
As a former guest once said: builders build, but you cannot build without a plan. Plan accordingly entrepreneurs.
After all, it is your legacy.
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