Why is Legacy Planning Important?
Hello, everyone! I'm Angelina, and I'm here to talk about the importance of planning for your legacy.
As a Legacy Planner, it's my role to help people design their legacies and make sure that their loved ones receive their unique knowledge, wisdom and real life lessons. What if your intentions were memorialized so others, including your family and your preferred beneficiaries so they can establish the roots to their identity on a solid foundational. But what many people don't realize is there's so much more to consider when it comes to thinking about your legacy than just the stuff we procrastinate such as wealth management, asset management and perhaps, other governance documents if you are part of a family business.
More than what will happen to your financial assets, what will happen to your intellectual capital when your beneficiaries are not guided into becoming custodians? Who will teach your next generations to come the most important lessons of life, responsibility and respect? How will people remember you once you're gone? These are all important questions we should all be thinking about today in order to ensure that our legacies are being honored appropriately when we're no longer around to proactively design it ourselves.
That's why today I want to talk about why you should start thinking about your legacy now instead of putting it off until later—because whether or not you think it's important now, it will be eventually!
We all know that we're here for a limited time in good health to be able to plan accordingly and achieve this legacy plan with each passing year. But do you think about what will happen when you won't be able to take personal agency of how you, yourself, would like to define, develop and execute your legacy? I know that it's not something we as a culture plan for but it's important to make sure you realize you do have personal agency of how you design your legacy. This includes how you show up, your awareness of how well you lived and the quality of your relationships - what it is you built with your talent, resources and how you faced life's obstacles. That's why it's so vital to have a solid plan in place for your legacy that includes clarity around more than just instructions for assets and intellectual property!
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I've realized I need to make some changes to my hard cover coffee table book and other key documents as I approach my next birthday. If you are also a planner of your future, your goals and your rainy days, then here are some things you can start to do:
1) Update your will - Make sure your will has the latest information about how you want your assets distributed per your estate instructions, as well as your person and your property.
2) Update any trusts - If you have any trusts set up, make sure they are up-to-date as well with meeting minutes and certifications. This includes making sure beneficiaries are still accurate.
3) Get insurance - If you have children or other dependents who rely on you financially, consider getting whole life insurance so they can continue living comfortably without having to worry about finances, have the seed capital for a house or a new start up business.
4) Talk about your legacy - Whether it's with friends or family members, take an inventory of your values and principles and how well you have lived through your decisions and daily activities. How true were you to yourself or how will you start tomorrow? When your cup is full and runneth over, who else could you bless given what you know and what you see in the landscape? While these topics can be introspective, it's important to take an honest inventory because time is our best asset and sometimes people don't think about these things until it's too late. It helps everyone feel inspired and uplifted when you live into your principles, values, and speak about who inspired you as positive role models! Then, be sure to take action according to how you would like to design your legacy plans.
People often think that legacy planning(c) is only for people who are super wealthy or have tons of power, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone has something worth living for, in a purpose greater than themselves, in the here and now and in making the ordinary extraordinary. Whether it’s sharing your favorite recipe or the stories behind your best successes as well as your failures, it's essential to memorialize the small things that people will remember you by.
And how would you like to give to others in a way that honors your values as well as getting to know their values and principles? It’s not too late! You can start today by retaining a Legacy Planning to create that hard cover coffee table book in the recording of your real life stories, favorite hard earned lessons, principles and recipes as well as checking in with others for their feedback on your life and contribution.
I personally love the idea of a hard cover coffee table book for your office or your living room because it shows not only your family what is possible in legacy planning(c), but also your associates and friends in giving them the lead and the space to reflect on what they would like their legacy to be without any pressure; the coffee table book can also be a culmination of six or twelve months of consulting to be guided in this process! But if you prefer designing this alone or with just your attorney and closest friends, then go for it! As long as you set aside some time to think about what matters most to you, then it will be easier to define, develop and execute your legacy in personal agency and integrity. It's time to achieve freedom, fulfillment and satisfaction in this legacy area of your life so let's start today!
Designing your legacy is so much more than just creating your will or governance documents.
Photo credit: @sjpw