It’s Never to Early (or Late) for Legacy Planning

Financial PlanningRetirement
It’s Never to Early (or Late) for Legacy Planning

Considering mortality often causes us to focus on what is truly important in life and what will outlive us. For many of us, our thoughts go towards our children or our grandchildren.

If you were to die unexpectedly, would your loved ones be aware of your wishes? If the answer to that question is “no” (or “I don’t know”), it’s time to evaluate your legacy planning and make some decisions now that will eradicate confusion and pain in the future.

Here are some steps to take to ensure that your loved ones are on the “same page” with regard to your legacy plans:

  1. Call a family meeting. Yes, it may be uncomfortable. Yes, your loved ones may initially shy away from the idea of discussing your eventual demise. However, make it clear that their attendance and participation will be a great act of love towards you. Use this meeting as an opportunity to communicate what your desires and expectations are for the distribution of your wealth and assets in the future. This will remove any ambiguity.
  2. Schedule another family meeting. Don’t just check off the “family meeting” box once. It’s important to touch base with your loved ones – namely your spouse and children – at least once a year to discuss any changes that may have been made to your estate planning and to answer any questions.
  3. Invite your loved ones into a relationship with your trusted advisors. It will be helpful for your family members to know your trusted advisors, as those advisors could be incredible resources for them in the future. Your financial advisor should understand your wishes and will be able to answer questions and address concerns if you are unable to do so.
  4. Decide whether your IRA beneficiaries will be designated as “per capita” or “per stirpes.” Designating per capita allows for your wealth to be divided equitably between co-beneficiaries, leaving nothing to the heirs of a deceased beneficiary, whereas designating per stirpes means that a deceased beneficiary’s allotment will pass to his/her surviving offspring.
  5. Share information about your charitable giving. You can leave a legacy of generosity in your family, and it starts with clear communication about the causes and organizations that are close to your heart and how you desire to support them after your death. Invite your loved ones into your process of establishing a charitable giving plan and demonstrate the importance of stewardship and giving to your family.

Conversations like this are too important to postpone. If you need assistance establishing your estate plan or you want to learn more about legacy planning, contact Ambassador Advisors today.


Any opinions expressed in this forum are not the opinion or view of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) or American Portfolios Advisors, Inc.(APA) and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments. Readers should conduct their own review and exercise judgment prior to investing. Investments are not guaranteed, involve risk and may result in a loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investments are not suitable for all types of investors. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each tax payer should seek tax, legal or accounting advice from a tax professional based on his/her individual circumstances.
This material is for informational purposes only. Neither APFS nor its Representatives provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional before making any decisions. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable and are subject to change without notification. The information presented is provided for informational purposes only and not to be construed as a recommendation or solicitation. Investors must make their own determination as to the appropriateness of an investment or strategy based on their specific investment objectives, financial status and risk tolerance. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Investments involve risk and the possible loss of principal.

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