Maximise your legacy with estate planning for future generations

By Fifty21 Media

16 May 2024

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When starting the legacy and estate planning process, your primary concern might be maximising what you pass on to your family and favourite charities while minimising taxes. However, legacy planning is not solely about financial wealth. While this objective can usually be met through careful and collaborative planning, the more challenging part is often preparing your family for the wealth they will inherit.

Understanding Wealth Beyond Finances

Years of experience working with high-net-worth families have shown that the best approach involves more than financial education for future generations. It requires a cross-generational understanding of what wealth means to individual family members and the family as a whole. To grasp the values attached to the wealth you have created, consider these three fundamental questions.

What Are the Family’s Wealth Objectives?

Identifying your objectives is the first step in creating a legacy plan. Whether you have near-term cash flow needs, long-term wealth transfer plans, or philanthropic goals spanning generations, clarity is crucial. Often, the best way to determine these objectives is through open and honest discussions with family members and trusted advisors. Good communication is critical to a healthy family life and equally important for preserving wealth. Families that succeed through generational transitions have developed real trust, built through compassionate and candid conversation.

Combining Values and Wealth to Create a Lasting Legacy

Every family has guiding values but articulating them can be challenging. Reflecting on certain questions and discussing answers with your family can clarify your legacy goals. Consider which causes matter most to you—perhaps community issues that need your support or charitable organisations you wish to help. Discussing your values and aspirations with those important to you helps develop a detailed wealth plan aligning with your legacy goals.

Aligning Your Legacy Plan with Your Vision

Strategic planning aligns your values and goals with your overall investment strategy and wealth plan. Sometimes, starting with a simplified picture of your wealth helps identify necessary changes to reflect your vision. Successful families in implementing their desired legacy and transitioning wealth to the next generations typically follow two best practices: developing family wealth goals and discussing planning options with advisors to determine the best strategies. Since legacy planning is collaborative, coordinating strategies with multiple specialists addressing different but related issues can be advantageous.

Building a Meaningful Legacy

Legacy planning is an opportunity to assign meaningful value to the wealth you have created and determine what wealth and success truly mean to you and your family. Successful planning often hinges on having open and honest discussions with your family members and advisors, identifying your family’s values and objectives for your wealth, and developing a strategy closely aligned with your goals. With proper planning, you can create an enduring legacy that spans generations.

Maximising your legacy is about more than just financial wealth. It’s about preparing your family, understanding the values attached to your wealth, and creating a strategic plan that aligns with your vision. By following best practices and engaging in open discussions, you can ensure your legacy endures and benefits future generations. With careful planning, your legacy can become a lasting testament to your values and aspirations, providing for your family and supporting causes important to you for years to come.

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