Legacy Plan: Your Tool to Pass on Goals and Wealth to Loved Ones
March 30, 2017
Drafting a legacy plan for the last phase of life can help communicate your values to your heirs and lay the foundation for future generation’s financial success. We understand that opening a dialogue with loved ones may be challenging. After many questions from clients regarding legacy planning and how to begin a conversation about their wishes after death, we decided to write this article. We will explain how legacy plans can be used as a tool to achieve your goals the future you envisioned for your family.
What is a Legacy Plan?
Most people believe legacy planning is just estate planning. In fact, it’s much more than that. An effective legacy plan usually helps with the following:
To help each member of the family understand their role in estate planning and fulfilling your legacy.
Setting up the proper vehicles to transfer wealth to your heirs such as wills, trusts, annuities, living estates and the like.
The Big Picture: Planning is about putting together the correct pieces to pass on your legacy to future generations.
As is the nature of the future, it is unpredictable and relatively easy to miss a detail while creating a plan. Moreover, you only do this once… so how are you supposed to ensure you have dotted every ‘I’ and crossed every ‘T.’
Are you able to answer all of these questions?
In the event you are incapacitated, who is in charge of running your estate? Have those wishes been legally documented?
If you were required to apply for Medicaid tomorrow, will you have too many countable assets to qualify?
If you frequently make charitable contributions to organizations, do you wish for those donations to continue after your passing? Have you put a plan in place to execute those wishes?
Do you wish to pass on any assets upon your death to children or grandchildren? Do you know the tax burden amount that will be placed on your heirs?
When you pass away, will your estate go through probate court? Have you drafted a will?
Those are just a few questions you should be prepared to answer for your last phase of life. Next, we will explain why it’s a good idea to implement a legacy plan.
Benefits of Legacy Plans
When properly set up, a legacy plan will help with the following:
Allows for seamless transfer of assets to heirs.
Provides instructions for how you wish for property to be distributed to heirs and any philanthropic gifting.
Can protect you from government seizure of assets for any benefits used prior to death.
Help reduce liability of estate taxes on heirs.
Allow for an appointed individual to hand your estate affairs in the event you are incapacitated or after you pass away.
You have lots of things to consider during this last phase of life. We strive to make handling your affairs as easy as possible. Before making any changes to your property, we advise you talk with a senior planning specialist or elder law attorney.
For more information: Contact Senior Care of Michigan below to speak with a Senior Planning Expert.