The Financial Planning Blog
Your go-to financial planning and wealth management resource, whether you're just getting started or well on your way to a financially secure future.
There are many myths surrounding legacy planning, but one of the biggest is children fighting over money and possessions. In our practice we find that it’s not things they fight over, but what those things mean to everyone involved. Most of the families we meet with look for fulfillment beyond the material possessions that money affords. Memories, shared experiences, and dreams fulfilled give them more satisfaction. However, when possessions carry many memories, disputes can happen. If you’re a parent or grandparent it’s important for you to consider building your living legacy not only attached to assets, but also to the personal values and memories they represent.
Your legacy can be joyful, tragic, or somewhere in between – but you get to choose which.
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Build Your Living Legacy While You Educate The Next Generation Early in your children’s lives, you can share your values, family history, and insights through light-hearted conversation and stories centered on the beliefs and decisions that shaped your successes, failures, and your vision for the future.
There isn’t much grandparents won't do for their grandchildren. In our practice, we are often asked, "How can I help my grandchildren after I’m gone? Can I build a legacy that will remind them of me and provide them additional security?"
Preferably we can make this happen during life, but if not, then through our planning and our legacy. . . Darren Hardy, in his book The Compound Effect, discusses the power of your “why.” If you were offered twenty dollars, he asks, to walk a thirty-foot plank that was lying on the ground, you would certainly accept such an easy challenge. But what if the plank were between the tops of two tall buildings? Would twenty dollars be enough to take such a risk? Then imagine that you needed to cross that plank because the other building was burning and your children were in peril. Under such circumstances, all of us would scramble across, without even a thought about money. This illustrates the power of determining your “why” – understanding what motivates you to action. Unless we find a source of motivation, energy, and inspiration – something truly important or even urgent – we won’t take the action we ought to take. As humans, we are incredibly prone to procrastination or taking the path of least resistance. By and large, we avoid change and are slow to move toward new ideas and innovations. What we need is to see and understand our “why,” opening ourselves up to different perspectives as well as new resources, searching and then focusing on how to move in the right direction.
Perhaps you have heard the story of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist who invented dynamite. He was shocked to discover his own obituary published one morning in a French newspaper. He was very much alive – it was his brother, Ludwig, who had died, but the newspaper confused the two and, in doing so, described the inventor as a “merchant of death.”