How to create a legacy



When the unexpected occurs, you need to be confident your affairs are in order and your plans will practically work. 
Preparing an Enduring Power of Attorney, Family Trust or Will can be daunting for most of us.  Handing over control or thinking about transitions involving our future incapacity or mortality, is something most of us would rather put off.  

When we focus on just getting something in place, it becomes a pretty transactional process.  Then, if our plans aren’t kept under review, our best intentions can negatively impact on those we care about - our family, heirs and beneficiaries. 

Careful thought, purposeful planning and regular reviews are essential for creating a meaningful legacy.

Two definitions of legacy resonate well with me.  The first came through Tim Belber, Principal of the Alchemia Group in Denver.  Tim defines a legacy as "what someone feels, thinks and says when they hear your name".  The second comes through Sydney based thought leader Matt Church who describes a legacy as "the tree you plant under which you will never sit". 
If we think of our estate planning documents as the trees we plant, what impact will yours have on your family, heirs and beneficiaries?  Will positive or negative lasting memories be created?  What actions should you take now to enhance the people or causes you care most about over the longer term?  What guidance or messages could you include in your documents about what matters most to you? 
When we convey our intentions, we improve the chances of creating a positive lasting legacy.  We provide connection and meaning to the stewards and recipients of our gifts - our attorney's, trustees, executors, heirs and beneficiaries. 

John A Warnick of the Purposeful Planning Institute reckons that if the purpose and positivity behind a gift isn't conveyed, a well-intended gift can simply become a transfer.  I think he's right.

Enduring Power of Attorney, Will and Family Trust documents are designed for handing over control from us to others.  The documents themselves, are full of legal impersonal legal and often boilerplate language.  If we take our name off the top of the first page and where we sign, there's often little to show that they're ours. 
Do you have letters of wishes or guidance notes that capture your best intentions, hopes and aspirations for those who will act for you, or for those you care most about?  Is your “voice” reflected in those documents articulating what's important to you for governing your affairs, or guiding those who will benefit?

Improve the impact of your legacy - give well, guide well and govern well. 


As always, I welcome your feedback.




Contact Me:

M: 029 985 6834



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