Estate Legacy Planning Strategy | Adviser Investments

Estate Legacy Planning Resources & Strategies

Many investors believe they have to be a multi-millionaire to consider estate and legacy planning strategies.

This is simply not true.

Instead, if you have assets of any amount and people and organizations you care about, it’s critical for you to maintain an estate and legacy plan.

Another misconception, is that most of your planning efforts won’t impact loved ones until you’re no longer alive.

This is also false.

For Example:

As part of your family wealth transfer plan, you could use an advanced strategy for family gifting and lending, like direct gifting. (In 2022, the IRS allows you to gift untaxed up to $16,000 per person per year, with a total lifetime gift tax exclusion of $12,060,000.)

In addition to minimizing your taxes today, the idea is to transfer your wealth when loved ones may need it rather than wait until you’re gone. Looking more broadly, transferring some of your wealth now can help your loved ones get started on the legacy goals you’re seeking to pass on.

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Estate Legacy Planning Resources & Strategies

Let’s take a closer look at the difference between estate planning and legacy planning.

Some professionals use the terms estate planning and legacy planning (aka family wealth transfer) interchangeably—there is a difference.

Estate planning is the legal preparation for defining how you want your medical care and financial decisions facilitated if you’re ever incapacitated. It also includes transferring and distributing your assets to the people and organizations you care about by creating a will, choosing the executor of your estate, establishing financial trusts and much more.

Tip: To learn more about what’s included within an estate plan, visit our estate planning center.

On the other hand, “family” legacy planning is the process of defining and communicating to your heirs: What you want your wealth used for, why you want it used in such a way and how to perpetuate your wealth throughout multiple generations. Essentially, legacy planning is preparing your loved ones to steward their inheritance.

Legacy Planning Tools: How To Pass Money to Heirs

Trusts are key financial tools used for estate and legacy planning. Trusts enable your assets to bypass probate and generally minimize taxes, ultimately maximizing your heirs’ inheritance and your legacy’s impact.

Key financial trust vehicles include:

  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Intentional Grantor Trusts
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts

For a complete description of each trust, read Advanced Estate Planning: Passing Money to Heirs.

The High-Net-Worth Family Meeting

For high-net-worth individuals, it’s important for you to openly and proactively communicate your wealth transfer plans and your values to your loved ones before you die.

A key tool to accomplish this is hosting a family meeting.

During this meeting you’ll discuss estate, financial and tax strategies, but more specifically, how you want your wealth managed going forward and the reasoning behind your desires.

It’s important to give your heirs an opportunity to ask questions and hear your answers.

For Example:

Perhaps you own a business and have two adult children. One child works in the business and the other shows no interest in it. To minimize future conflict among your children, it’s important to proactively explain how you intend to transfer/divide your business’ ownership (and other assets) and why you believe it’s the best approach.

Additional Estate Legacy Planning Resources

Additional Estate Legacy Planning Resources

Your Legacy’s Instruction Manual: Trusts and How to Use Them (podcast)

Four Advantages of Trusts (blog post)

Next Steps

Legacy and estate planning are critical components of wealth preservation and transfer, however, financial planning encapsulates your full financial life, defining a road map for accomplishing your long-term goals, including your legacy plans.

Therefore, the first step in legacy planning is creating your financial plan.

One final thought…

The more complex your assets and family dynamics, the more critical it is for you to seek professional help, including finding the appropriate wealth planning strategist and legal advice for you.

Contact Adviser anytime for assistance. We pride ourselves on being The Planner You Can Talk To.

Tax and legal information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Personalized tax advice and tax return preparation is available through a separate, written engagement agreement with Adviser Investments Tax Solutions. We do not provide legal advice. Always consult a licensed attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.
Our statements and opinions are subject to change without notice. All investments carry risk of loss and there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved.
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