Purposeful Legacies

Many folks have worked hard and saved diligently over the years so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labor and live life to the fullest….but then what?  Who will benefit from those fruits after they are gone?  Most of us want to be sure that our fruits will stay fresh and not spoil or go to waste!  That is where estate planning comes in.  In its simplest form, estate planning is the process of preparing for the transfer of assets after death; but, we believe that meaningful estate planning is about more than just money and legal documents.

We believe that estate planning should address not only what you want your loved ones to have, but also what you want them to know.  As you embark on organizing your financial lives, we encourage you to consider “Purposeful Legacy Planning.”   Purposeful Legacy Planning helps heirs move beyond the financial aspects of inheritance to gain a deeper appreciation for what they receive and to delve deeper into what really matters most.

According to Purposeful Planning Institute based in Denver, Colorado, there are three pillars which can be used to help capture your voice, vision, values and wisdom:

  1. Guidance/Guidelights: Have you written down the most important lessons that you have learned from your own experiences? What were the key successes and failures in your life – how did they affect your character and values?  What do you feel are the key ingredients for a life of happiness and significance?  What preparation and perspiration preceded the turning points in your life?  What sustained you when it seemed everything was going against you?
  2. Tributes and Affirmations: After the death of a loved one, we all have questions that linger and hunger for a personal message. Were they proud of me?  Did they see potential?  What were their most cherished moments with me?  Take the time to share your thoughts and express how you feel.  Your words may encourage, inspire and bring peace to those you love.
  3. Memories/Reflections: Great stories move us.  They make us laugh, make us cry and make us remember.  Recording your memories can be a source of great joy for your loved ones and the process provides a great benefit to you.  Studies have shown that this simple act keeps our minds sharp and makes us appreciate what we have.

While it is crucial to appropriately plan for the distribution of your assets, do not overlook the power and meaning of sharing your experiences, values and wisdom.  It will likely be one of the most treasured gifts you can leave your loved ones.

As Alex Haley, author of Roots, explained, “When an old person dies, it’s like a great library burning.” Don’t let your library burn. Make Purposeful Legacy Planning a part of your estate planning process.  Our team is always available to help.

Disclosures: Alpha Omega does not provide tax, accounting, legal or insurance advice, but can make suggestions, which you can review with your expert advisors, or refer you to a specialist, who does not compensate us for the referral. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, accounting, legal and insurance advisors before engaging in any transaction.

Lynn Diveley, CFP®, is Senior Financial Advisor in Alpha Omega's Shenandoah office. Lynn has over 30 years of financial planning and wealth management experience and was a founding principal of Diveley Lind & Associates. For feedback or questions regarding this blog post, please contact Lynn at lynn@aowealth.com.