One of the most common reasons that people move forward with estate planning is to leave a legacy. This can be accomplished in a few different ways. For some people, leaving a legacy means to leave all or most of their assets to their children and grandchildren, and having their descendants carry on their legacy in that way. For others, it may mean leaving certain assets to charity. Before you get started with estate planning, it is a good idea to consider your estate planning goals.
Before you begin preparing your estate plans, it is essential to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. The California estate planning attorneys at Galanti and Copenhaver have many years of experience preparing estate plans and handling many of the legal issues that arise from these matters. Our attorneys can help you create an estate plan that will allow you to meet your goals for leaving your legacy. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to meet with one of our attorneys to get started.
1. Leave a Legacy by Providing Loved Ones with Financial Security
One way to leave a legacy is to have your estate plans prepared in such a way that your assets will be distributed to your loved ones and provide them with some financial security upon your passing. If you have the means to do so, giving your children, grandchildren, and other loved ones valuable items, property, or monetary assets can be hugely beneficial to them as they move forward in their lives.
2. Leave a Legacy by Having Your Assets Distributed Over Time to Your Beneficiaries to Ensure Money is Not Spent All at Once
You can opt to have your assets immediately distributed to your beneficiaries upon your death, or you can choose another option, such as creating a trust that allows for the distribution of certain assets to certain beneficiaries over an extended period of time. One example of this would be to leave $25,000 to each of your three children but stagger the distributions so that they receive 20% of it at age 30, another 20% at age 35, and so on.
There are many ways to approach this type of arrangement, and it may be something to consider if you have concerns that your beneficiaries may not be able to spend the money wisely. One way to handle this issue is through the use of a spendthrift trust, where you give a trustee the power to approve certain distributions from the trust over time.
3. Leave a Legacy by Supporting Charities that are Meaningful to You
Another way to leave a legacy is to leave some or all of your assets to charities that you support upon your passing. It is one option to name one specific charity as your beneficiary for all of your assets. You can also set up your estate plans so that certain assets are distributed to multiple charities that you believe in.
Naming a charity or charities as a beneficiary does not preclude you from leaving other assets to individuals, such as family members. There is a lot of flexibility in estate planning, and your attorney will be able to help you prepare estate plans that will ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
4. Leave a Legacy by Leaving a Beloved Family Home or Vacation Home to Your Descendants to Enjoy
If you own a home or a vacation home that has been in the family for generations, passing the home on to your descendants is a great way to allow your legacy to live on after you pass. These homes often have significant sentimental value and would be a meaningful gift for many reasons to pass on to your children or grandchildren to enjoy. Homes with rich histories and many memories are worth much more to your loved ones than the market value of the property would imply, so deciding how to pass on the property is an important consideration in your estate planning.
5. Leave a Legacy by Including Important Family Heirlooms, Valuables, and Other Items with Sentimental Value in Your Estate Plans
Another way to leave a legacy with your estate plans is to make sure to include sentimental items, as well as valuable family heirlooms in your plans. One way to do this is to make sure specific items are accounted for in your will or other forms of estate plans, and that there is a clear beneficiary named for each item. That way, you can ensure that each valuable and sentimental item is given to a loved one who will truly cherish it.