Have you ever done a family tree? Or traced your family history back generations, discovering stories about your ancestors and the legacies they left behind. Maybe your parents used the mistakes and shortcomings of those who came before as warnings, a cautionary tale you were told not to repeat. Now ask yourself, what stories will your descendants tell about you? What will your legacy be?
Throughout your life, you may have looked up to mentors, found inspiration in great leaders, and modeled yourself after those who have come before you. It stands to reason that your career has inspired the next generation in the same way. The core of any family or business is the values and wisdom passed from one generation to the next. Taking the time to establish a strong legacy plan will help your family and your business thrive for years to come. Your legacy shouldn’t be left up to chance. Take control and maximize the impact you can have with a thorough, well-developed plan.
What’s holding you back?
There are many misconceptions surrounding legacy planning. Many people assume you have to be fabulously rich and famous to have a legacy, or even to participate in legacy planning. Others see legacy planning as self-involved, even egotistical, and express concern that they’re forcing their vision onto their successors. The fact of the matter is, everyone has a legacy. We all have values, assets, and wisdom that we work to share with those around us each and every day. Having a plan to increase the longevity of this impact means that the gifts you leave behind reach more of the people you love.
What do you have to lose?
Forbes Magazine describes legacy planning as serving three primary functions. First, it identifies who your best self is. Second, it creates a road map to achieving that best self. Lastly, it proactively helps navigate that path for you. Your business is one part of your legacy, and when you consider the time you spend working both on and in it, can you imagine losing it? Unfortunately, 70% of wealthy families lose their wealth by the second generation, and a stunning 90% by the third. Failing to educate the next generation on the responsibilities of wealth is a major factor in this loss. A 2015 U.S. Trust survey of high-net-worth individuals with more than $3 million in investable assets found that 78% of these business owners feel the next generation is not financially responsible enough to handle inheritance. Without legacy planning, these important lessons will not be passed down.
What can you do?
A well-thought-out legacy plan goes far beyond the financial aspects of minimizing taxes and creating a succession plan. It involves determining the values and wisdom that you wish to impart on future generations. When done well, everyone can move forward together, creating a cohesive family and business. From designing a values statement to facilitating family meetings, we are here to listen intently to understand how you will define success. We help you design a strategy to allow your loved ones to flourish while imparting the legacy and values that you desire. Ready to get started? We can help!