Everyone is well aware of the fact that estate planning attorneys help people prepare their assets for distribution to their loved ones. At the same time, there are a broader set of considerations that you should address if you want to consciously craft your legacy.
In this post, we are going to provide some food for thought about the bigger picture. It may give you a renewed understanding about the process and the possibilities.
You may want to take your funeral arrangements into your own hands in advance. After your passing, your family members will be dealing with their emotions. They will do what they have to do, but it’s not the best time for practical decisions.
These would include choice of burial or cremation, casket or urn selection, choice of funeral plot or the destination of your ashes, and memorial service details. When they are put on the spot by a funeral home, the situation is delicate, and family members can disagree.
When you assert your wishes before the fact, there will be no cause for disagreements. Plus, you will be put to rest in the manner of your choosing, and this is the most important element.
You can develop an arrangement with a funeral home, make your selections, and pay for the final arrangements in advance. Short of this, your estate plan could include instructions about your desired final arrangements.
A Legacy of Giving
If you are in a position to give something back to worthy causes and/or institutions, you can establish a legacy of giving. For an example, look no further than the late sports theme painter LeRoy Neiman. He went to the Art Institute of Chicago, and he also taught at the school.
Nieman had a deep appreciation for his educational underpinning, and as a response, he left a $3 million endowment to his alma mater.
He passed away in New York, and he had an affinity for the city. His estate included a $1 million endowment to the Harlem community center known as Arts Horizon. A Columbia University print study center carries his name, and his $6 million donation help to make it a reality.
You may or may not have millions of dollars to donate, but you will always be remembered for your generosity if you plant seeds for the future.
The last legacy plan component we will look at here is the ethical will. This document was originally used during biblical times, and it comes out of the Judaic tradition. In the early days, the ethical will was used to pass along spiritual and moral values to surviving loved ones.
You can still use the document to share these ideas, but there are no strict rules. Counselors espouse the benefits of the ethical will, and they encourage people to use them. It is liberating to put your thoughts to paper, and a modern ethical will can be looked upon as a final letter to your loved ones.
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This is a $425 value, and the online seminar is quite valuable in its own right. You can see the dates and obtain registration information if you visit our Cincinnati, OH estate planning event page. If you decide to attend, please follow the instructions to register.