When you are looking ahead toward the future you may start to think about your legacy. Indeed, there are a number of ways that you can proactively endeavor to have an influence even after you are gone.
One of the steps that you can take to preserve your legacy would be to set aside resources for the benefit of charitable causes.
You probably have seen hospital wings, libraries and sections of libraries, university buildings, and even little league fields that are named after someone. Depending on your resources you may be in a position to finance some type of project that benefits the community as a whole.
When your name is attached to a community resource, you will always be remembered as someone who made a tangible difference in the world around you.
Charitable giving is its own reward. However, there are tax advantages that can be realized through philanthropic efforts. This is something that you would want to discuss with a licensed estate planning attorney.
Preserve Family Heirlooms
Family heirlooms can be a very important part of your legacy. When you leave behind items that have history and meaning behind them, you are preserving a piece of yourself. You may in fact be in possession of heirlooms that were passed along to you. If this is the case, you know the way that you feel about them. Your children and grandchildren can be the next link in the chain.
Ethical Will or Personal Memoirs
Ethical wills have been utilized by people since biblical times. These documents are traditionally used to pass your moral and spiritual values to succeeding generations.
Perhaps people have approached you over the years in need of financial assistance. It may be relatively easy for you to leave behind monetary resources for those that you love. When you leave money behind you gain peace of mind knowing that you have provided resources even though you won’t be around to help.
At the same time, family members may have come to you for advice of all kinds. Wisdom is acquired through knowledge and experience. After you pass away, you won’t be accessible to family members in need of guidance.
While there is no true replacement, an ethical will can certainly be of assistance. When you record your “rules to live by” as it were, your family will have a written resource that they can turn to in times of confusion.
A living will is certainly an option. However, it is also possible to record your memoirs without any particular focus on moral and spiritual values. These stories can be instructive and entertaining. They can also be of genuine historical value as you share stories about your life and times.