You likely know what estate planning is and why it is so important to have an estate plan in place. Do you, however, know what legacy planning is? The idea behind the concept of legacy planning is to take estate planning to the next level. Legacy planning allows you to incorporate your ideals, beliefs, values, and faith into your estate planning endeavors. Instead of simply leaving behind assets, legacy planning lets you leave behind much more of who you are and what made you the person you were during your lifetime. To help you better understand the concept of legacy planning, the Vernon Hills legacy planning attorneys at Hedeker Law, Ltd. offer some legacy planning basics.
Traditional Estate Planning
Traditional estate planning focuses on creating a roadmap for the distribution of your estate assets after death and other related goals. It is, of course, important to have a plan in place for the distribution of your material wealth when you die, as well as a plan that determines who will control those assets and who will make decisions for you should you become incapacitated at some point in the future. All of those issues can be addressed in a traditional estate plan. Your estate assets may include real or personal property as well as tangible and intangible assets; however, the bottom line is that traditional estate planning is used to pass down the material wealth you accumulated over the course of your lifetime without regard to the deeply held ideals, values, principles, and beliefs that likely helped you accumulate that wealth. Fortunately, legacy planning does address those issues without the need for a separate plan. Instead, legacy planning tools and strategies are woven into your existing estate plan to create one cohesive and comprehensive legacy plan.
What Might Be in My Legacy Plan?
Because a legacy plan is intended to reflect who you are, only you can ultimately decide what should be in your plan. Some common additions, however, include:
- Guiding Principles – you have probably lived your life with a set of guiding principles. These principles have likely been interwoven into every aspect of your life, including your family, your business, and even your friendships. You have also likely tried to pass these principles down to future generations along the way. Although you may not think of your estate plan as another opportunity to pass on those principles, it can be if you engage in legacy planning.
- Ideals and Morals – every time you make a decision relating to investments, business, or finances, your personal ideals and morals are probably at work without you realizing it. If you sit down and think about what has always guided you when making those decisions, those are the ideals and morals that you should include in your legacy plan.
- Faith – if you are a person of faith, your religious beliefs have also undoubtedly played an important role in your life and in the decisions you have made over the course of your lifetime. If you want to pass down your faith, there are ways to incorporate it as well into your legacy plan.
How Can Vernon Hills Legacy Planning Attorneys Help?
If the idea of incorporating your legacy into your estate plan appeals to you, make an appointment with your Vernon Hills estate planning attorney to get started. The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch. You can weave your beliefs, ideals, and faith into your existing estate plan with some help from your estate planning attorney.
Contact Vernon Hills Legacy Planning Attorneys
For more information, please download out FREE estate planning worksheet. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the concept of legacy planning, or you wish to get started on your legacy plan in the near future, contact the experienced Vernon Hills estate planning attorneys at Hedeker Law, Ltd. by calling (847) 913-5415 to schedule an appointment.