When families think about estate planning, they usually focus on how to transfer financial assets, such as money, property, art, and other material assets. However, there is a critical element missing. When thinking about estate planning, families should also consider legacy planning. After all, that is what they are conveying: their legacy, not merely their estate and assets.
According to an online Allianz American Legacies “pulse” survey, participants overwhelmingly voted that a family legacy encompassed more than a financial inheritance. In fact, family stories and values were deemed more important than the transfer of assets. Legacy planning— unlike traditional estate planning—includes the transfer of financial wealth as well as the family’s mission, traditions, values, stories, and meaningful memories.
While the concept of legacy planning resonates with many families, there is a difference between the idea and the practical implementation. Families that successfully transfer their legacy first develop a thorough plan, mission statement, constitution, and framework for open dialogue. Here is a list to help families start thinking about the legacy they wish to leave for the next generation.