agape_0003_iStock_000005927336SmallAt Agape Insurance and Financial Services , many of our clients want to discuss not only their short term goals or retirement but also ask about incapacitation or end-of-life issues. As we are creating a financial plan together, one of the questions we discuss is legacy.

Legacy means different things to different people:

  • Structuring your life, finances, decisions, and will to ensure that your family has financial security for many years to come, including the death of one or both parents.
  • Having your contributions appreciated and names remembered for generations to come, including having scholarships, buildings, parks, etc. named for them.
  • See the programs and organizations you helped build or grow continue to do good in the community, nation, or world.

As the members of the Baby Boom generation are in their middle years or already retired, we are seeing more people look at “Half-time” in their lives. They are opting to live out their legacy now since tomorrow is promised to no one.

Whether you see your legacy as how you live the remainder of your life or that will endure after your death, the wise will prepare for tomorrow by properly applying the best practices and plans today:

  • Will and estate tax planning – these tools are reviewed regularly to keep pace with the changes in a person or his heirs’ lives and tax and legal code
  • Insurance and investment options, including updating beneficiaries
  • Establishing guardianships, trusts, annual giving, durable power of attorney, living will, etc.
  • Succession planning and funding
  • Other efforts such as funeral and burial plans to ease the emotional burden on your survivors

The importance of properly preparing your legacy can be multiplied if you have a child or dependent with a significant disability, have been divorced, remarried or are living with someone you are not married to for whom you would like to provide for, own a business or assets that are not easily liquidated or located in several states, have patents or royalties from creative work, want to give gifts multiple charities, etc.

Few people like to discuss this difficult topic. However, many families can attest to how much more difficult their lives were made later because it wasn’t addressed.