What Kind of Legacy Would You Like to Leave Your Family?Submitted by Mission Financial Planning on February 21st, 2020
As I discuss estate planning with my clients, I inevitably think about my personal estate plan. My kids will inherit what will seem like a lot of money to them, considering how frugally they were raised (downside of being brought up by a financial planner!). I want them to manage it well, understand why I made the estate planning decisions I did, and I have some ideas about ways they could use the money to enrich their lives and the lives of others. None of this is guaranteed, particularly if we’re not talking about it as a family.
Talking about a parent’s death is not easy, for the parent or the kids. And many families just don’t talk about money, some consider money conversations taboo (not the case at a financial planner’s dinner table). But talking about money is important. It’s the way we educate and mentor the next generation on how money works. We are able to share the family’s financial history and why we act like we do around money, the work that goes into accumulating savings, what our values and traditions are, and the importance of good stewardship.
Information can be shared through intentional or casual conversations. Conversations may happen through purposefully structured family meetings, during rides in the car or over family meals.
I’m careful not to overwhelm my kids with everything I want to pass down, choosing a couple of themes that are age appropriate and what I’d absolutely want them to know if I died sooner than later. I’m also starting to think about the traditions I want to intentionally continue and some I’d like to start, to be sure the family connections continue to be nurtured and prioritized.
Thinking about the legacy you want to leave can be an enriching process, both for yourself and your family. A financial legacy that includes education, intention, values and traditions may be the best heirloom you can pass down.
--Sharon Weaver, CFP®, AWMA®
Find out how MFP can help your prepare your legacy today!