Often, Texans who are in the process of estate planning have concerns that go beyond the simple distribution of assets to their designated heirs. In some cases, they also want to preserve legacy. Legacy planning is a term that is frequently used along with or in lieu of estate planning, but it is all part of the process of creating a comprehensive document to suit a person's desires and needs. A problem that comes up with legacy planning is that it has certain perceptions that need to be overcome and facts to understand before adequately addressing the issues that are part of it.
Some might believe that a legacy is an act of ego. In truth, some people have created a life and a business that requires steps being taken to preserve legacy. It is not simply a love letter to oneself. It is a strategic plan to preserve the achievements one has reached in life. The basic idea is to ensure that the heirs live up to a standard that the testator has set. People who have a legacy plan are also accused of trying to control their loved ones after they are gone. In some instances, it might be viewed as necessary. In others, it is done to try and make certain that the heirs achieve to the best of their abilities and the legacy plan can push them toward that.
Even those who are of more modest means can have a legacy plan. It does not necessarily need to be a person who is the head of a major company or is famous. But a legacy plan can apply to anyone. What it boils down to is the goal of the testator to create a life and try to keep that life intact even after death. Estate planning properly to include a legacy plan is a step to ensure that can be done.
The idea of an estate plan and a legacy plan might sound as if they become muddled in terminology. People who are seeking to make a difference not just when they are alive, but after they have died will want to consider steps to preserve legacy in the best way they can. A lawyer who is experienced with estate planning and plans for beneficiaries can help to determine if a legacy plan should be included in the estate plan.
Source: forbes.com, "Three Common Misconceptions About Legacy Planning," Daniel Scott, Nov. 15, 2017