To preserve and convey one’s value legacy, estate planning goes beyond money and even asset protection. For an estate to be truly effective and do more than just simply move money and assets from one generation to the next, it must accomplish three basic goals. In order to leave heirs a complete estate plan, an individual must ensure that they are actually leaving their assets to those designated, make certain those assets are received at the right time to maximize their lifetime benefits, and protect their legacy from being lost to third parties.
In the Kiplinger article “Is Your Estate Plan Truly Complete?” John Goralka discusses the benefits of developing a “values legacy” to leave behind for the next generation, which identifies key elements of the core values and beliefs an individual should develop and pass on in their estate plan. The “values legacy” should reflect their character, competence, confidence and core values. Mr. Goralka also advises creative strategies for educating, motivating and inspiring heirs, such as implementing incentive provisions or trusts, documenting of the family story, organizing family retreats and providing a personal directions letter.
An effective estate plan does not only serve as an insurance policy to protect the assets from costly bumps in life. As Mr. Goralka explains, it also provides an opportunity to preserve a family’s core values for future generations.