August is “What Will Be Your Legacy?” Month!
By Evan Farr (originally published in the Virginia Elder Law blog)
Many of us are so caught up in the here-and-now of the present that we fail to consider our distant future. We may get around to it later in life, after we have lived awhile–wondering what we might be remembered for, or what we will leave behind. Others are born with this innate sense of purpose, this desire to create a lasting legacy for themselves, or perhaps their children.
Whichever group you fall into, August is “What Will Be Your Legacy?” month and should spur you to ponder that question for yourself. While we can’t control what others think of us after we’re gone, we can make sure that we lay the groundwork for a lasting legacy. Proper estate planning can be key to many of your goals. Is there a charitable organization or cause that you believe can change the world? Charitable gifting from a trust can ensure that you play a vital part in its mission even after you’re gone. Do you have children? Planning ahead to give them the ultimate gift of a good education will change their lives, and you don’t have to wait until the end of your life to do it!
Choose to ignore this, and your legacy could turn into a nightmare you never dreamed of. Do you want your loved ones to have to go through “the nightmare of probate” after you’re gone, because you didn’t have the right documents in place? Is that the final impression you want to leave with them? Probably not. This month gives us a prompt to make the right choices in our lives, for ourselves and our loved ones. You might think this approach only applies to the here and now, but you can make the right choices for what you leave behind you as well. After all, isn’t that what a legacy truly is?
What are Charitable Trusts?
What is a Charitable Annuity Trust?
What is a Charitable Lead Trust?
What is a Charitable Unitrust?
What is a Revocable Living Trust?
What is Probate?