Not many people are prepared to talk about the day they die, and even fewer are willing to consider the world beyond their lifespan. So, it’s not surprising that few of my clients or friends are excited when I broach the topic of legacy planning, also known as estate planning.
I empathize with the reluctance to engage in these conversations. My own personal motto when it comes to death is, “Not today!” And yet, there are only two sure things in life: taxes and death. (Ironically, legacy planning includes both!)
In the end, our legacy lies in the people we have influenced and any final instructions that live beyond our own lives. I believe the former is much more important than the latter, so keep singing your children lullabies, passing on wisdom, and giving others a hand up as often as possible. But the latter is literally your final act and often has an outsized influence on those you love.
A properly planned estate reaffirms your core beliefs, passes on final affections, and blesses those around you. An improperly planned estate can harm those closest to you, create ambiguity around your intentions, and even burden those you care about most. This is why we constantly talk about the importance of legacy planning.
Drawing on my years of experience, here are a couple of suggestions when it comes to planning your legacy:
- It’s never too early to put your estate documents in order. The complexity of your needs might change, but even people in their 20’s need powers of attorney and wills.
- Work with an estate planning professional to ensure your intentions comply with local laws. Meet with that professional every five years or so to ensure your documents keep up with your changing life and legislation.
- Communicate your plan with your loved ones in an open dialogue. We at RMB often facilitate these “family meetings” to make sure everybody is on the same page and a professional is in the room to answer any technical questions.
This is not an exhaustive list and you’re likely to have many questions along the way, but the most important part is to start the process with a sound heart and mind so that your legacy reflects and reinforces the person you are in life. Your RMB advisor is here to help guide you through this process.
Until our paths cross next, keep depositing as many positive experiences as possible in your memory bank so that your legacy is as rich as your portfolio!
The opinions and analyses expressed in this communication are based on RMB Capital Management, LLC's ("RMB Capital") research and professional experience are expressed as of the date of this presentation. Certain information expressed represents an assessment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast or guarantee of future performance, nor is it intended to speak to any future time periods. RMB Capital makes no warranty or representation, express or implied, nor does RMB Capital accept any liability, with respect to the information and data set forth herein, and RMB Capital specifically disclaims any duty to update any of the information and data contained in this presentation. The information and data in this presentation does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, investment, or other professional advice. Past performance is not indicative of future performance, and there is a risk of loss of all or part of your investment. This information is confidential and may not be reproduced or redistributed to any other party without the permission of RMB Capital. RMB Asset Management is a division of RMB Capital Management.