Your legacy is a very meaningful thing, and you can shape the way that you will be remembered in many different ways if you engage in the process of legacy planning. There are a number of things to think about; some of them are financial, and some of them are matters of the heart.
From a financial perspective, you have to make sure that you preserve your wealth for the benefit of your loved ones if you have been particularly successful from a financial standpoint. High net worth individuals who are passing along more than $5.43 million have to be concerned about the federal estate tax.
We practice law in the state of New York, and in our state, there is also a state-level estate tax to contend with, and for the time being the exclusion is lower than the federal exclusion. Until April of 2016, the New York state estate tax exclusion is $3.125 million.
If your estate is in taxable territory, there are steps that you can take to mitigate your exposure.
Charitable giving can also be part of your legacy plan. There are various different methods that can be utilized. You could potentially create a private foundation, and you may be surprised to hear that most foundations in the country are funded with less than $1 million.
Donor advised funds are another option, and there are charitable trusts that can be utilized as well.
Giving direct inheritances is one thing, but the gift of education is perhaps the greatest gift that you can give to a younger relative. If you make educational opportunities available, your legacy will live on as your loved ones achieve their full potential.
We have all heard of the estate planning document called a last will or last will and testament. This is not the only type of will that is used in the field of estate planning.
When you are devising your legacy plan, you may want to consider the inclusion of an ethical will. This type of will has nothing to do with financial matters, and in fact, it is not legally binding in any way. In spite of this, it can be a very valuable part of your legacy plan.
Ethical wills have been used since biblical times to pass along moral and spiritual values. When you take the time to author an ethical will, your loved ones will be able to draw from your moral foundation even after you are gone.
Learn More About Legacy Planning
We have just scratched the surface in this brief blog post, but you can learn a great deal more about legacy planning if you download our in-depth special report. The report is being offered free of charge right now, and you can click the following link to get your copy: Smithtown NY Legacy Planning.