By the time you’ve completed a legacy plan, you’ve done the hard work of naming guardians and allocating assets and organizing documents and…well…you’ve done a lot! Crafting a plan that fits your unique goals, and bringing it to life with your financial advisor and attorney, can take many months.
At the tail end of that process, it can be tempting to put the plan in a safe spot and forget all about it. Not so fast! Here’s what we suggest clients do next to communicate their wishes and keep their plan as current as possible:
Celebrate Your Achievement
Having a comprehensive legacy plan in place is a big deal and represents the significant amount of time and energy you’ve invested. It matters and will make a huge difference in your peace of mind and eliminate tension and questions for your heirs/beneficiaries down the road. Take a deep breath and enjoy it!
Spread the Word
Know someone who would benefit from working on their plan? We love referrals! Send them our way, or send them a Legacy Kit of goodies and legacy-related discussion cards. This experiential box has been specifically designed to get a loved one, family, or group talking about what really matters—their values, their dreams, and the legacy they want to leave—in a comfortable environment that’ll engage all the senses. Hearing from someone who has done this work can be hugely impactful on loved ones who are just starting that process!
Tell Your Story
Consider writing a “legacy letter” or recording a video for your heirs, telling them how much you love them, sharing words of wisdom, or telling a favorite story. You can do this yourself using any phone or camera, but GPS also offers a number of creative storytelling packages that can be a wonderful gift to your loved ones, either now to be kept with your legacy plan.
Consider who you’d like to know about your plan. Do you want your kids/heirs to know, at a high level, what you intend to happen with your estate? At the very least, it’s a good idea to let your personal representative, power(s) of attorney, and/or guardians know that they’ve been named in your estate. This could be a great opportunity to tell these people what they mean to you. If you’re remembering organizations in your plan, consider letting them know that they’ll receive a gift, and how you intend for them to use it. Some organizations will make note of your intentions in their database or even ask you to get involved in a legacy organization!
Check In & Check Up
Put a reminder on your calendar to pour a good cup of coffee and review your plan every few years. Do the roles you’ve assigned still fit, or have your relationships changed? Have you had any major changes in assets or business interests that should be reflected? Your estate plan can always be changed.
Reach Out if Needed
Let us know if you have questions down the road or want to reassess your plan. We stay up on the latest legislation and legacy planning tools, and we can quickly pull up your plan, review it with you, and help adjust course if necessary. An hourly fee may apply.
About the Author: Monique has a background in ministry and higher education, bringing years of experience to the Gift Planning Services team. She has degrees in journalism, Spanish, English literature/writing, and strategic leadership. She loves hearing people’s stories and figuring out ways to use creative storytelling to capture personalities, illustrate complex ideas, and inspire action.