A legacy of your own
You may not have heirs, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your estate plan. Your legacy will still live on in the future. If you are setting aside a good portion of your estate for purposes other than family, you have significant freedom to decide how you will be remembered. So take the time to consider what’s most important to you. After all, it’s your money, and these are very personal decisions. Don’t feel pressured to do what others may think is “right.”
Giving well can give more meaning to your life
One way to establish an enduring legacy is through philanthropy. You may have a cherished cause or an alma mater that you want to support in a significant way. Maybe a moving life experience has given you an appreciation for a particular institution or hospital. The possibilities are endless. And, once you decide on the charity, institution or cause you want to support, there are tools that can immediately put your assets to work so you can see and appreciate the impact your gifts have made during your lifetime. “Once we have worked with our clients to help them uncover the causes they want to support, we help them figure out how to have the most meaningful impact while still generating income for themselves,” explains Shamari Gilyard, Director, Wealth Planning at Klingenstein Fields Advisors. “This can range from an outright gift to establishing more permanent structures such as specialized trusts, a donor advised fund or a private foundation.”
It’s not all relative
In addition to building a charitable legacy, you may know individuals who could benefit from your generosity. While gifting is a way to recognize a deep bond and impact another individual or family, there are several topics of concern to consider. We can help guide you on ways to benefit someone you care about, while recommending structures to make sure the funds continue to be put to good use. In addition, considering the tax impact of your decisions is as important when leaving money to others as it is when making charitable contributions. It may be useful to start effecting your legacy sooner, since there may be tax benefits to making such gifts annually during your lifetime, in addition to the satisfaction of seeing the benefits of your gifts realized.