Financial Impact on Your Loved Ones
Your financial legacy to your loved ones isn’t only about how much you leave, but how you leave it. Getting your estate in order now can save your loved ones a significant amount of time and money later. Basic estate planning documents consist of a will, health care directive, and durable power of attorney. You may also want to work with a financial advisor who can help ensure that the process is as streamlined as possible for your loved ones after you’re gone. This includes matters you may not automatically associate with estate planning, such as making sure you have up-to-date beneficiaries listed on all necessary accounts or securing all login information for accounts in one central location.
For some people, there’s value in passing down wealth while they’re still alive. You may prefer to help your children or other loved ones at a time in their life when they need it most. Though there are tax implications when gifting large sums of money, there are other ways you can help ease the financial burden of loved ones, such as helping to cover the costs of a grandchild’s higher education. This can be an incredibly complex endeavor with implications you may not be aware of. Therefore, if you’re considering passing down wealth while you’re still alive, you should work with a knowledgeable financial professional.
Personal Impact on Your Loved Ones
Just as important as the financial impact you have on loved ones is the personal impact you have. You should ask yourself if there’s anything you want to sort out prior to passing on. Are there broken relationships in need of repair? Feelings you always meant to share? We often go through life assuming there’s time to handle these things later. While there probably is, part of leaving a positive legacy for your loved ones is showing them that they’re your top priority and worth taking time for.
There also may be information you want to pass on. In addition to the logistical details you should share, such as your desires for your funeral, you may also have more personal information to share. Maybe you’re the collector of generations of family stories and history. Younger generations would probably love to have this cherished and irreplaceable knowledge.
Financial Impact on Community
You may choose to leave all of your money to your family, but you may also opt to leave some (or even all) of it to a cause you care about. This could be anything from your alma mater to a local food kitchen. Because all organizations may not use your money the same way, it’s worth taking the time to make sure your money is being used in a way that you feel good about.
As with leaving money to your loved ones, you don’t have to wait to give money to an organization after you’re gone. In fact, charitable giving is a common aspect of many financial plans. Besides the goodwill it can bring, charitable gifting also comes with potential financial opportunities, such as tax advantages. If you’re looking to make a financial contribution to an organization or cause, speak with your financial advisor to make sure you’re doing so in a way that allows you to capitalize on any financial benefits.