Do you have a particular desire to leave meaningful heirlooms to your family members? One of the greatest gifts I received was from my paternal grandfather. He was not a wealthy man, in terms of material wealth, but I remember him to be a captivating, distinctive man that could keep my childish attention with every word he spoke. His stories, replete with embellished stories of his life adventures, commanded my eyes glued on his seasoned, wrinkled brow. I thought my grandfather walked on water and performed miracles simply based on his time taken to instill in me the importance of family. Near his death he gave me his favorite pocketknife that I possess to this day. The knife is not worth much in today’s dollars but in sentimentality, it could not be replaced.
What kind of legacy are you leaving? Have you committed most of your time on this planet to creating material wealth at the cost of familial relationships? Have you shared family stories with the next generation? Many of our clients ask us how to transfer their wealth to the next generation without squelching the child’s ambition. If the sum of assets is very large, you have many options to control the impact from the bequest.
First, consider the current education and work experience of the descendant. Many young adults today are following their passions instead of the prescribed careers their parents may have desired for them. As a parent, I had an idea for my two children in the area of career choices. However, as often occurs, they had other plans! I learned a valuable parenting lesson and have been informing others of my excellent curriculum. Everyone on this planet is unique in emotion, habits and desires. The impact I hope to create with my legacy is one that imparts to my children the world needs an abundant injection of hope and positivity. My challenge to them has been to “go change the world for better.”
Second, you should consider a gift from your estate to your favorite charity. You can significantly impact your community for decades by leaving a sum of assets that will provide an income stream for the charity. Charitable Remainder Trusts serve as an effective vehicle for a donor to continue receiving income on their assets and, ultimately, upon her passing, the assets transfer to the qualified charity.
Lastly, legacy can be realized by contributing your personal time to a cause that impacts others’ lives. For example, many of our clients retire from their careers only to start a new “volunteer” career. Perhaps they desire to help improve infirm individuals by delivering meals or offering transportation. A dear friend of mine retired from his career and immediately allocated his time to helping others with transportation needs to and from their healthcare providers. His legacy of time is creating more interest in the program and attracting others to volunteer their time.
Legacy is not limited to only the wealthy. You can, and should, leave a legacy to your family that encompasses all of the assets in your life that time can’t take away and money can’t buy. Seek out a CPA and Certified Financial Planning practitioner to help you create a plan to impact the world in a greater manner than you ever thought possible.
Registered Principal Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Jimmy J. Williams is an Investment Advisor Representative of Compass Capital Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Compass Capital Management, LLC are not affiliated. 321 S. 3rd, Ste. 4, McAlester, OK 74501.Cambridge does not offer legal and tax advice. Please consult your legal advisor for specific estate planning strategies.