Legacy planning is a more comprehensive form of estate planning. When you carefully craft your legacy, you shape the way that people will remember you after you are gone. While there is a financial aspect, some facets of a legacy plan are gifts from the heart and soul.
The distribution of family heirlooms can be part of part of the plan. You can thoughtfully determine the ideal caretaker for each respective item that you have in your possession. This is actually something that you can potentially address while you are still living if you choose to do so.
Throughout the course of your life, people in your family have probably come to you seeking guidance during difficult times. Even if you come to terms of your own mortality at some point, the thought of not being there for your loved ones to provide insight and direction can be disconcerting.
People have felt this way for centuries, and an ethical will can provide the answer. These documents stem from the Judaic tradition dating back to biblical times. In an ethical will, you share your moral and spiritual values for the benefit of younger family members.
It can be hard to fully understand someone unless you have knowledge of the particular path that they have taken throughout their life. This can even enter the picture among family members that have been relatively close over the years.
When you are devising your legacy plan, you could choose to include your personal memoirs. This document or audio recording could be extremely interesting instructive for the people that you will be leaving behind.
Websites that help people trace their lineages have become quite popular. Clearly, a lot of folks want to learn about their ancestry. As an elder, you are in a unique teaching position in this regard.
You undoubtedly remember family members that have long departed. If you take the time to convey this information in some form, family members will certainly benefit from the knowledge.
Estate Tax Efficiency
High net worth families have to be concerned about the potential impact of the federal estate tax. It carries an eye catching 40 percent maximum rate, so it can take a heavy toll on your monetary legacy as it is being passed along to your heirs.
There is a credit or exclusion that allows you to transfer over $11 million to others tax-free. Any portion of your estate that exceeds this amount would be subject to the federal estate tax.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to gain estate tax efficiency. It is wise to explore them thoroughly so that you can position your resources in the optimal manner.
Your legacy plan could include acts of charitable giving, and there are a number of different ways to go about it. Of course, you could directly donate funds to a particular organization or institution that has been meaningful to you in some way.
Another option would be the creation of a private charitable foundation. When you think about foundations, the names of some of the most wealthy families in the country may come to mind first. This being stated, the majority of private foundations that exist in this country are funded with less than $1 million.
Donor advised funds are another possibility for acts of philanthropy. With this type of fund, you make a single contribution, and you can advise the fund with regard to multiple charities that you would like to support.
There are charitable trusts that can be utilized as well. A trust of this nature can be an effective tool for acts of generosity, and there are also tax advantages to be gained if you are exposed to the estate tax.
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