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Passing More Than Money To Your Heirs

In the 2006 film The Ultimate Gift, spoiled young Jason Stevens expects a large inheritance from his eccentric grandfather. But when the man passes away, his will stipulates that Jason will get the money only after he accomplishes 12 unusual, demanding tasks. Each is designed to change the way the young man views wealth, human relationships, and the meaning of life.

You’re not likely to demand that kind of quest from your heirs. These days, though, it’s not unusual to include provisions in a will or estate plan that go beyond financial wealth and relate to personal or social values. It may be possible to encourage your children or grandchildren to continue a family tradition of philanthropy, for example, or to understand the important role your ethnic heritage has played in your life.

But it’s tough to pass along your values if your heirs don’t know who you really are. Whereas we once routinely gained wisdom and perspective from our elders, that opportunity often gets lost in the shuffle of fast-paced contemporary life. Yet young people still long to comprehend what their families stand for and to feel a sense of belonging and purpose.

Family storytelling is the most natural and direct means of imparting essential elements of your identity. Around the family table, young people can share in the evolution of your attitudes, traditions, and values. When were you happiest? How did you first experience kindness, self-sacrifice, ambition, and generosity? What were the things that mattered to you as a young person, and how have your views changed? What were the turning points in your life, and what do you wish you’d done differently? Though you may worry young people will be bored by your stories, chances are they’ll be engaged, especially when the conversation involves them, too. Listening carefully as they relate their own experiences can help you gauge their values and ambitions.

Of course, just helping your heirs get to know you doesn’t ensure they’ll carry on your passions. Yet there are ways to expose your children and grandchildren to organizations that matter to you, and to get them involved in your cherished causes. You can take them along when you attend meetings and events, and make sure they connect with key people. Your estate plan can help too:

  • Set aside assets to help heirs visit your family’s country of origin or places significant to your family’s heritage
  • Provide funding for family members’ business or educational development
  • Launch a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (or establish a community foundation “support organization”) and name family members to the board of directors
  • Establish a charitable remainder or lead trust that links philanthropic and financial interests. This can become a donor advised fund upon your death.
  • Create a donor-advised fund and let younger family members recommend grant recipients

 Discussions with your family can form the foundation of a values-based blueprint. We can help you start these conversations and work with you and your attorneys to create an estate plan that incorporates your goals.


This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Legend Financial Advisors, Inc.® and is not intended as legal or investment advice.



INDEX
  • Five Retirement Questions To Answer
  • Live Longer And Prosper In Your Golden Years
  • 6 Ways To Close The Retirement Gap
  • IRS Closes Valuation Loopholes
  • Passing Down IRA Assets? Clue In Family Members
  • This Type Of Trust Is A Failure
  • Grandparents Can Become Big Spenders For Their Offspring
  • Time Your Social Security Benefits For Top Results
  • Watch Out For These 7 Retirement Ups And Downs
  • Why Would Anyone Take Their RMDs Sooner?
  • 10 Frequent Retirement Mistakes You Should Avoid
  • Tax Rewards For Year-End Generosity
  • Meeting With The Family For Elder Care Planning
  • 20 Questions On Required Minimum Distributions
  • Tie The Knot For Retirement With A Spousal IRA
  • Four Retirement Planning Rules Of Thumb To Bend
  • When Will New College Grads Be Able To Retire?
  • Last Chance To File-And-Suspend Retiree Benefits
  • You Know You're Getting Old When You Get RMD Notice
  • 10 Steps To Take On The Path To Early Retirement
  • How To REALLY Get Ready For Your Retirement Years
  • Can You Skip Over The Special Tax For Generation-Skipping?
  • What Do You Think Your Life Will Be Like In Retirement?
  • Raiding A Roth Early? No Woes
  • Live Long And Prosper: Roll Out A Stretch IRA
  • Did The Devil Make You Do It? 8 Retirement Miscues
  • Ponder These 4 Reasons For Roth IRA Conversions
  • 10 Ways To Skirt A Penalty Tax On Plan Payouts
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  • Figuring Out How Much You Need In Retirement
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  • Five Ways To Plan Smarter And For The Long Haul
  • 5 Withdrawal Strategies For Retirement Savings
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  • Generation X Members Have Retirement Work Cut Out For Them
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  • It's Tough To Decide If You Should Retire Early
  • Saving For Retirement At All Ages
  • Which Type Of IRA Do You Prefer?
  • Owning REIT Shares Can Help Minimize Risk
  • Roundup Of New Estate Tax Changes
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  • The Benefits Of Working With An Advisor
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  • Eight Of The Best Tax Strategies To Use In 2012
  • 10 ''Baby Steps'' To Take If You Are Newly Widowed
  • A Case Study: Retirement Planning In Your Fifties
  • Factors In Researching An Assisted Living Facility
  • New Wrinkle In Pre-59 1/2 IRA Withdrawals
  • A Case Study: Giving Wealth Away
  • Social Security's Online Benefits Estimating Tool
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  • The Fine Art Of Planning For Collectibles
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  • Key Factors In Conducting Your 401(k) Vendor Search
  • Assessing The Damage To Pre-Retiree Financial Plans
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  • Giving Up Control Of Your Finances
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  • Adjusting To The New Reality About Your Retirement
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  • Weighing The Benefits Of Investing In A Roth 401(k)
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  • Pre-Retirees, Retirees Switch To Roth IRA
  • The Obama Bank Plan And The Risks It Poses
  • New Law Suspends RMDs For Just One Year
  • The Importance Of Year-Round Tax Planning
  • Charitable Giving Rules Changed By Pension Act
  • Market Gyrations Raise Questions For Pre-Retirees
  • Passing More Than Money To Your Heirs
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  • Key Questions For Those Nearing Retirement
  • Retirement Planning Does Not Stop When You Retire
  • Dealing With Market Risk Right After Retirement
  • Nine Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid
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  • Treating Your Retirement As A Liability
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  • Regulatory Guidelines Update
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  • Another Way To View The Current Valuation Of REIT Sector
  • Understanding Risk-Preparing For The Unseen
  • A Critical View Of The Consumer Price Index
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  • Ways To Improve The Score
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  • Total Credit Market Debt (All Sectors) As % Of U.S. GDP
  • To Reinvest Or Not To Reinvest
  • Why Not Alternative Fixed Income Investments?
  • Just How Expensive Is The Market?
  • Beware of Brokerage Firms' Misconduct
  • Identity Theft : Correct Those Credit Reporting Errors
  • Risk-Controlled Investing
  • Q & A With Robert Arnott
  • Identity Theft : Applying For Credit? Better Check Your Credit Report First
  • Indentity Theft: Help Is On Its Way
  • Identity Theft: Everyday Prevention
  • Indentity Theft: Tips to Protect Yourself
  • Identity Theft : Tips to Protect Yourself
  • Identity Theft: A Note About Social Security Numbers
  • Identity Theft: Which Documents Should You Shred or Store?
  • Identity Theft : Don't Fall For That E-Mail!
  • Identity Theft : One More Reason To Protect Your Credit
  • What Do Rising Interest Rates Mean For Money Market Yields?
  • Exit Gracefully: How Business Owners Should Plan For A Comfortable Retirement
  • Section 529 Plans Are Popular But Not The Only Way To Go
  • The Importance Of Commodities In A Portfolio
  • A Tale Of Two Hedges
  • Bank Loan Funds: A Great Fixed Income Investment As Interest Rates Rise
  • REITs: A Great Diversification Investment
  • What Is Risk?
  • How To Find A Great Financial Advisor?
  • Is It Time To Find A New Financial Advisor?
  • Year-End Tax Planning Can Help Generate High Return On Investment
  • 4 Steps To A More Secure Investment Portfolio For Your Retirement
  • Traditional Investing May Decrease Your Retirement Lifestyle
  • Is Your 401(k) Plan A Failure?
  • Understanding Deflation
  • Tax Issues To Consider When Buying A Long-Term-Care Policy
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  • Investing In Times Of Uncertainty And Risk: The Importance Of Diversification
  • Yesterday's Great Companies
  • A Retirement Plan Primer After The 2001 Tax Act
  • Beware Of Common Home Repair Scams
  • Estate Taxes To Be Reduced Then Repealed In 2010
  • Faulty IRA Conversions Can Lead To Tax Penalties
  • Many Individuals Pay Private Mortgage Insurance Beyond When It Is Necessary
  • Rethinking Estate Planning
  • Early Retirement Incentives For Tenured Faculty Waives Fica Tax Payment
  • Retirement Plan Contribution Limit Changes
  • Shopping For A Bank Account That Pays The Highest Possible Rate Of Interest
  • Your Medical File Report May Need A Check-Up
  • Do It Yourself Tax Preparers Watch Out: Tax Answers From IRS Centers Oftentimes Are Incorrect And/Or Insufficient
  • Five Tips For Preventing Thefts From Your Checking Account
  • Home Office Deductions: Hoops To Jump Through
  • Income Tax Effect On Single And Married Taxpayers
  • Income Tax Planning For Investments
  • Property Tax Challenges Should Not Be Overlooked
  • The IRS Will Follow Your Wealth To The Ends Of The Earth
  • Under New Law Taking Social Security at 65 Makes Sense for Most
  • When Do You Need Life Insurance
  • Year-End Tax Defferal Planning



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