Legacy planning can be described as a more comprehensive approach to the estate planning process, and it is something to take into consideration if you have accumulated significant resources. When you proactively shape your legacy plan, you take control the way that you will be remembered after you are gone.
For some, the estate tax will be a concern. It carries a 40% rate on asset transfers that exceed $11.4 million. This is the amount of the exclusion during the current calendar year, and you can expect to see a slight increase to account for inflation when 2020 rolls around.
You don’t have to be exposed to the estate tax to be concerned about your broader legacy, and some components of a legacy plan will not be strictly about dollars and cents. If you are so inclined, you can sit down and record your family history for others to access in the future.
Your personal memoirs would also be a great gift to family members that would allow them to gain insight into your formative experiences. An ethical will could potentially be added as well. With this type of will, you can share your moral and spiritual values with the loved ones that you will be leaving behind.
Giving Something Back
On the financial side of things, you could consider charitable giving as a part of your broader legacy plan. There are a number of different ways to go about it, including direct giving to charitable causes and/or institutions that are meaningful to you in some way.
You can alternately consider making a contribution into a donor advised fund. The way that it works is you make a single gift into the fund, and you get a tax deduction during the year that the contribution was made.
Subsequently, you can advise the fund with regard to the charities that you would like to support going forward. Since there are many different donors, they all contribute to the administrative expenses, so this allows for streamlined giving, and the accounting process is simplified as well.
Another possibility is the establishment of a private family foundation. This will probably conjure images of the names of famous billionaires, but in fact, most foundations in the United States are funded with less than $1 million. The rewards of giving are self-evident, and there are tax advantages that provide an added bonus.
Speaking of taxes, there are a couple of different types of charitable trusts that can be used for tax efficiency purposes. These would include charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts. We will examine the details in-depth in a future blog post.
Download Our Special Report
We have shared some basic information about legacy planning and charitable giving here, and there is another resource on our website that you can access to build on your knowledge.
Our firm has prepared numerous different special reports that cover a wide range of estate planning topics of interest. One of them is specifically focused on the subject that we have been looking at in this post, and you can click the following link to gain access: Legacy Planning Report.
Attend a Free Seminar
Written information is a great place to start, and when you decide that you would like to take another step along the process, we are here to help. There are a number of estate planning seminars being held in the near future, and you can learn a great deal if you attend the session that fits into your schedule.
Though there is no admission charge, we need to know how many people to expect, so we ask that you register in advance. To get all the details, visit our seminar schedule page and click on the date that interests you to obtain registration information.
Schedule a Consultation!
Our doors are open if you are ready to take the ultimate step to put an estate plan in place. Give us a call at 310-337-7696 to schedule a consultation appointment, and if you would rather reach out through the Internet, simply send us a message through our contact page.