By Matthew A. Ferri, Esq. Legacy planning involves passing down values, wisdom, or experiences throughout your life. This is similar to estate planning, where it focuses on your assets, such as who inherits, when they inherit and how to best protect yourself and your family. Legacy planning, on the other hand, focuses on the intangible assets of your life. Both involve passing down the most important aspects of your life to the next generation.
Getting Started – Legacy Planning
One way to begin your legacy planning is writing a message or two for your family to receive later. These letters could include:
- Memories of your family, such as milestones or other special moments,
- Stories from your life you wish to share,
- Life lessons you have learned that you believe would be important to your child’s future, or
- Words of wisdom you wish to pass down.
Memories and Values
If you are having difficulty beginning this process, you can recall some of your fondest memories that you wish to reflect upon. You can also think about the different values you have tried teaching and why they are important to you. You may also consider what you want your children, grandchildren, and other family members’ attitudes to be towards the world. But really, any words you wish to share with your loved ones can be a part of your legacy planning.
More Than Material Wealth
During the overall planning process, most people are focused on the financial aspects of their lives. This would include assets such as your real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, savings bonds, or even jewelry. While financial planning is an important aspect of planning, it is also important to consider what wisdom, in addition to material wealth, you would like to pass down to the next generation. If you have questions or would like to learn more about legacy planning, you can contact our office to set up a complimentary initial consultation, (248) 409-0256.
About the Author
Matthew A. Ferri, J.D., M.B.A., is the Founder and Principal of Life Focus Planning, a Michigan based estate planning law firm. He is an estate planning attorney with offices in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Shelby Township, Michigan. His expertise includes advanced estate planning, elder law, Medicaid planning, Veterans benefits, special needs planning, and business planning. During law school, Matt focused his studies on business law while simultaneously earning his MBA. After graduation, Matt started his own firm with the goal of helping individuals and their families develop estate plans that work. He received the rating of AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell: The highest peer rating standard. This rating signifies that a large number of his peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence for his legal knowledge.