Pass on More than Wealth

As we focus on what we are grateful this time of year, we often look to cherished traditions and memories with loved ones – cooking holiday dinners, volunteering at charities together, and in general spending time together.  It is instances like these, among others, we can preserve and pass on to our loved ones along with our financial wealth.

Did you know that you can include in your estate plan, stories and experiences or guideline and “guidelights”? What is referred to as Legacy Planning, this type of “planning” delves into the past and has you answer questions about your life, your ancestors, and what you would like to share with future generations. You might look at your childhood and if there is anything special you would like to share about your ancestry. Maybe your family immigrated from a particular town in Europe and that is where your traditional holiday meal comes from. Perhaps memories of your school years and who or what was important to you during that time. Your reflections on when and how you figured out what you wanted to do professionally when you were older and the other careers you considered first can help advise your loved ones when they are going through that process as well. You might also consider sharing your favorite memories with your family, like why a road trip was so special for you, what it meant to move out on your own, what some of your biggest accomplishments were, or for parents what your children may have never learned about you.

Sharing this information with your family can help protect your legacy for future generations. Even though it is primarily about events that have already occurred, we call it planning because passing the experiences on can help your loved ones navigate stressful times in their lives and in general just feel more connected to the family.

Another tool we use to pass on the intangible experiences in life is a Purposeful TrustTM. This kind of trust is meant to capture your voice as the trustmaker and connect with your loved ones on a more personal level. It can include clauses where you can offer guidance and life lessons to your beneficiaries. It can provide family histories and stories to learn from, as well as wishes for the family’s future. For instance, the story of how a small family business started can help show future generations how to grow it, while still honoring the values and ideals it was built upon. Or, sharing the reason you support and volunteer for a particular charity can connect them to you and may help cultivate a sense of stewardship.

Passing your family legacies to the younger generations can help reinforce your core beliefs and create a strong bond amongst loved ones. Having this information available to your beneficiaries can extend your traditions and let your values be passed down throughout the years to come.

We are here to help you create your own Purposeful TrustTM just call (248) 409-0256 to schedule.