A good legacy plan one made with the following ingredients:
- Clarity – Making sure your instructions and wishes are clear is imperative.
- Customized Plan – Your legacy plan must be crafted by your unique circumstances, personality, portfolio, morals, and more.
- Consultation – You should consult with a qualified attorney that asks many questions about you, your family and your goals.
- Communication – An open dialogue with your family about your plan is crucial to its success. It makes little sense to me to surprise your loved ones upon your death.
In many cases today, I find my clients have significant IRA’s, but little thought is given to how that fits into their legacy. Many folks that I meet with think they will spend down their IRA in retirement, yet more and more children and grandchildren are inheriting IRA’s. IRA’s are a great tool for legacy planning, but you must sit down and plan ahead of time for IRA planning to be useful.
My last bit of advice: Don’t make legacy planning a one time exercise. Go back to your plan regularly and tweak it as needed. There are bound to be changes in your life or the lives of people around you. Make sure your plan reflects those changes.