Monday, June 10, 2013

Have you thought about your legacy?

About ten years ago, I spent some time with clients who wanted to set up a specific legacy. They were a wealthy couple with no children to provide for, so they had the ability to bring about their wishes. They chose a few charities to support in their wills, leaving their entire estate to libraries and charitable organizations that addressed literacy. This is how they wanted to leave their mark on the world. They told me a personal story about why literacy was so important to them that they wanted to leave more than ten million dollars to benefit literacy organizations.

I'm not going to tell you their story, of course, since it is a private matter, but their estate plan does illustrate how wills can be used to create a legacy that says something about what's important to you. Since then I've met with dozens of clients who want to leave their own legacy. Most are more modest than the ten million dollars available to the wealthy couple I mentioned.

Many clients like the idea of setting up a scholarship in a college or faculty that is dear to their hearts. A few turn personal collections into pocket-sized museums so that others can enjoy their lifetime passion. Many ask that a plaque or decorative bench be put up to remember them by. Not everything costs a lot of money; planting a tree for example is a lovely way to commemorate a precious person.

I'm attaching a link to an article from www.retirehappy.ca that urges all of us to think about and talk about a legacy we'd like to leave for our families. Click here to read it.

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