How do you want to be remembered?
The mark you leave on this earth is your legacy. Most people say they want to leave a good legacy, but that doesn’t happen by default. It requires putting thought into how you live and how you leave this life, and it should include many factors beyond your finances. At OneAscent, we engage in a process called Legacy Coaching that goes above and beyond traditional Estate Planning. Our Legacy Coaching process ensures you are able to pass on not just valuables and wealth, but values and a legacy to the next generation of stewards who are already chosen and prepared.
Legacy Coaching Vs. Estate Planning
Simply put, estate planning is the process of determining what happens to your assets after you pass. It is a plan for dividing your assets that accounts for personal, philanthropic, and tax considerations.
In creating an estate plan, most lawyers and CPAs ask simple questions like, “How much do you want to leave your children?” and “How much do you want to give to charity?” While these are fundamental aspects of leaving a legacy, they are surface-level questions that don’t get to the heart of the matter.
Legacy coaching dives deeper.
Legacies Are Relational
Legacy Coaching explores what you value most and what you want to do with your assets, both while you are alive and after you pass. Our process starts with a conversation about how you want to leave a legacy in five areas:
- Your personal legacy
- Your family legacy
- Your financial legacy
- Your business legacy
- Your charitable legacy
We help you develop a plan that expresses your vision in each of these areas.
A Legacy For Your Family
Families are at the heart of most estate plans. Many people plan to divide their wealth evenly among their children when they die. With Legacy Coaching, we get to know your family situation to help tailor a plan. Suppose one of your children is a surgeon, another a missionary struggling to raise support, and another is in the midst of a substance abuse crisis. Does it make sense to leave the same amount to all three? Does it make sense to distribute anything before your death? These considerations are personal and financial, so we take time to explore your dreams for family and how you can start investing in their futures now.
Leaving a Legacy Beyond Your Family
OneAscent also explores your desire to leave a legacy beyond your family. Would you like to give a substantial amount to a non-profit or your church? What are the tax implications? How would the tax implications be different if you give a gift now compared to a gift after your death?
Your legacy can transform lives and ministries for generations, but this can only happen if you plan. By giving the same care and attention to your legacy that you have given to building your estate, you ensure that you will contribute to transforming lives for years to come.
Communication Is The Key
No matter how you plan to divide your estate, communication is one of your plan’s key considerations. Over the years, we’ve met with several high-net-worth individuals who planned to give the majority of their estates to charity, dividing a smaller amount among their children. We always ask one question.
“Are your children aware of this plan?”
Clear communication allows a decision like this to be well-received, and even embraced, by children who are now able to participate in and partner with their parents in generosity. If you fail to communicate, the consequences can be devastating. Your children are left asking questions like, “Did they trust us?” and “What did I do wrong?” This confusion often leads to infighting, shame, and dissension.
We help develop a strategy for clearly communicating your plan to your heirs and frequently coordinate meetings to help guide this conversation, ensuring clarity and avoiding pitfalls. When you proactively communicate, you replace unrest with an appreciation for the legacy you are leaving to your family and beyond. By including them in the conversation, you set an example of generous giving and stewardship for the next generation.
Everyone Leaves a Legacy
These are the types of considerations that your advisor will walk through with you as they help develop a plan for your legacy starting today and continuing long after you are gone. If you’ve been through a traditional “estate planning” process, you will immediately recognize that Legacy Coaching is unique. Instead of developing a plan for numbers and percentages, we get to know you and your family to develop a plan for people, ministry, and legacy.
Everyone needs a financial plan, even if it’s just a budget. At OneAscent, we also believe everyone needs a legacy plan. If your legacy involves significant financial considerations, our values-based approach provides a unique service for people with an eternal perspective.
At OneAscent, we work with you so that your legacy is by design, not by default. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how you can live well and finish well.
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