Legacy Planning: Securing Your Financial Future and Values for Generations

July 8, 2024 | Wealth Management

David Yucius, Jr., CFA® and Michael Doyle, CFP®

Thoughtful legacy planning can ensure that you pass down your values and assets to future generations. David Yucius, Jr., CEO of Aurora Investment Counsel, and Michael Doyle, vice president and director of wealth management, recently conducted a webinar on the importance of legacy planning. This article provides key takeaways and offers practical advice on creating and maintaining your legacy plan.

Legacy Planning Webinar

Did you miss our webinar? You can watch it now!

Understanding Legacy Planning

Legacy planning goes beyond traditional estate planning by focusing on the transfer of assets and the transference of values and goals. Estate planning involves creating a will and organizing assets for tax efficiency. Legacy planning takes a broader view and considers the long-term impact on your family and charitable causes you care about.

“Legacy planning isn’t just for the ultra-wealthy” said David Yucius, Jr. “It’s essential for investors who want to safeguard their family’s financial well-being and to leave a meaningful and lasting impact on the causes that they hold dear.”

Legacy planning allows you to see the benefits of your efforts during your lifetime. David explained that legacy planning involves passing assets and transferring values to those you care about. Unlike traditional estate planning, which typically begins after one’s death, legacy planning includes elements that can be enjoyed and managed.

Legacy planning isn’t just for the ultra-wealthy. It’s essential for investors who want to safeguard their family’s financial well-being and to leave a meaningful and lasting impact on the causes that they hold dear.

Benefits of Legacy Planning

During the webinar, Aurora emphasized that a primary advantage a legacy plan is providing financial security for loved ones. A well-structured legacy plan ensures your family is financially secure. David and Michael also emphasized that proper legacy planning can help reduce the tax burden on your heirs and can help ensure that your personal and family wishes are respected.

Mike Doyle shared several real-life examples during the webinar. One story involved a 9-year-old delivering a eulogy at his grandfather’s funeral. The boy’s speech showcased the positive outcomes of instilling values through legacy planning. Another example was a teenager who started a power-washing business during the COVID-19 lockdown, highlighting the importance of promoting financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

Steps to Creating a Legacy Plan

“By taking proactive steps today,” David said, “You can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your financial legacy will be handled precisely as you envision.” Creating a legacy plan involves:

  1. Assess your assets and liabilities: Understand what you own and owe.
  2. Define your goals and wishes: Clearly articulate your objectives and desires for your legacy.
  3. Consult with financial and legal professionals: Seek expert advice to ensure your plan is sound.
  4. Draft and finalize legal documents: Ensure your will, trust, and other legal documents are in place.
  5. Regularly update your plan: Keep your plan current to reflect changes in your circumstances or goals.

By taking proactive steps today, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your financial legacy will be handled precisely as you envision.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Aurora also said that a typical family mistake is not communicating your plan to your heirs, which can lead to misunderstanding and conflict. Open and honest discussions with your family about your legacy plan help ensure they understand your wishes and the values you want to pass on. Family meetings can be a valuable tool in this process, providing a forum for discussion and clarification.

Mike shared a cautionary tale about an adult child who spent his entire inheritance in a few years. Our client said his child failed the legacy text. Mike noted the former millionaire is now without means and living with his uncle.

Procrastination is also common, which can lead to unpreparedness. Failure to update plans is also common.

Role of Professional Guidance

Estate planners, attorneys, and financial advisors provide guidance and help identify potential weaknesses in your plan. David highlighted the value of consultations and family meetings, stating, “It’s the consultations and the family meetings that bring clarity and direction to legacy planning.”

Professionals can help navigate complex situations and advise on the best tools and strategies to achieve your goals, such as setting up trusts, donor-advised funds, or charitable remainder trusts. Working with professionals can create a plan that meets your financial objectives and aligns with your values.

Importance of Charitable Giving

Legacy planning also supports philanthropic goals. By identifying what is important to you, whether it’s education, community involvement, or supporting specific causes, you can structure your legacy to reflect these values. This thorough approach ensures that your legacy extends beyond financial considerations and makes a lasting impact on your community and the world.

The webinar featured several compelling case studies. For instance, using donor-advised funds allows families to involve their children in charitable giving, fostering a sense of responsibility and community. Charitable remainder trusts are another effective tool, providing beneficiaries income while benefiting philanthropic causes.

“Using tools like donor-advised funds, families can involve their children in charitable giving, fostering a sense of responsibility and community,” said Mike.

Another example discussed in the webinar involved a family who used a charitable remainder trust (CRT) to support their philanthropic goals and provide steady income for their heirs. The CRT was an effective way to manage wealth, reduce taxes, and ensure their values were reflected in their legacy.

Using tools like donor-advised funds, families can involve their children in charitable giving, fostering a sense of responsibility and community.

Plan Your Legacy Today

Legacy planning is an essential aspect of financial planning that may ensure your values and assets are passed down to future generations. Starting early and consulting with professionals can provide peace of mind and prevent potential issues. Creating a thoughtful and comprehensive plan ensures that your legacy reflects what matters most to you.

Watch the webinar to better understand how legacy planning can benefit you and your family. Or please schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your unique situation. Let us help you create a legacy plan that honors your values and secures your family’s future.

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About Aurora Investment Counsel

Aurora Investment Counsel seeks to provide peace of mind to high-net-worth and institutional clients through expert wealth management and investment management. Aurora serves clients in or close to retirement, career professionals, and owners of small businesses. We also work with investors who have sold or are about to sell their business, bequeath or receive an inheritance or have recently become widows or divorcees. In addition, we provide equity management services for family offices and institutional investors and consult with financial advisors looking for business growth and sub-advisory services. Aurora was founded in Atlanta, GA, in 1995 and currently manages over $200 million in assets under management.

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