What will your legacy be?

Have you decided what your legacy will be when you are no longer here? Of course, that can mean many things, but let’s explore a few of them…

For most people, the legacy they care most about is their family and loved ones.

You want peace of mind that when you are no longer able to provide for your family they are still looked after and protected. At its barest minimum that means having a regularly updated Will documenting your wishes with the right Executors.

For additional protection, a Trust is a good way to ensure finances are safeguarded and beneficiaries inherit at the right point in their lives. This is particularly relevant where children and grandchildren are involved.

A Trust can live beyond your lifespan and those of your immediate descendants – creating a legacy for your grandchildren and beyond. You should ensure that the Deed of Trust spells out your wishes and how your estate will be dispersed to ensure your legacy is the one you wish for.

To support this you may wish to consider a Memorandum of Wishes. This is not a legal document but acts like a letter to share your thoughts. This may be about funeral arrangements or how you wish money to be shared under certain circumstances. These documents can often be used to safeguard the estate should beneficiaries divorce, suffer from mental health problems, or have addictions such as gambling.

Whilst a Trust is an effective way to protect your estate, and potentially reduce inheritance tax liabilities, they are expensive to set up and maintain. You also have the challenge of choosing the right Trustees to ensure the Trust is managed and maintained correctly and legally. It is a big responsibility.

You may decide that rather than wait until you are not around to enjoy it, you would rather spend your money now and enjoy seeing your loved ones benefit from it too. Being able to take special trips, supporting the first step on the housing ladder, or putting children or grandchildren through independent education or university is a huge legacy that ticks a lot of boxes for many.

I always encourage clients to think about the balance between tying up and protecting their estate after death, versus the pleasure of sharing your wealth and time with your loved ones now.

For many people, their commitment to good causes is very important and they want that to continue as their legacy.

That could result in leaving a percentage of your estate to charity in your Will. Or putting money into Trust to support specific causes that are dear to your heart. You may decide to donate your organs or donate your body to medical science – that too is a legacy.

However, I would argue that your legacy is also about the richness of your life.

How you will be remembered – the values and morals you have instilled in your offspring, how you have loved and nurtured your family and the way you live your life.

You may have chosen to give time to volunteering, taken trustee roles on charity boards, fundraised for charity or championed a cause.

A very current example of this is Dame Deborah James, who has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of bowel cancer; and raised over £6.7m despite being terminally ill. She continues to be a huge inspiration to people all over the world suffering with cancer, and has created an amazing legacy for her family, loved ones and fellow bowel cancer sufferers.

So, what would you like your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered? And what steps might you need to take to make it happen?

I’d love to talk to you about how I can support your legacy and you living your best life. Give me a call on 01344 875 310 to arrange a chat.

Start getting a return on your life…

First steps: Take your free Return on Life Index assessment

What will your legacy be?
Start getting a return on your life…

First steps: Take your free Return on Life Index assessment