April 2, 2018
Some of the most important events and decisions in life can be incredibly joyful and terrifying at the same time, such as having a child, buying a home and starting a business. Deciding how to use your wealth to build a legacy – both during and beyond your lifetime – often falls into this category as well.
You’ve worked hard to achieve financial independence and reach the point of not needing to worry about where your next dollar is coming from, yet tackling the question of how best to put your money to use can be daunting. However, inaction is not a reasonable strategy.
To secure your legacy and ensure the spirit of all you’ve worked for lives on, you need to give meaning to your wealth.
Giving purpose to your surplus wealth
So here you are, with wealth beyond your immediate needs. For those with a clear plan for how to use their wealth, this is considered good fortune. For others, grappling with uncertainty and worrying that their family may plunge into conflict after they’re gone can become a burden. Whatever path led you to this point – a stellar career, entrepreneurial success or prosperous forebears – you ultimately have only two choices for this wealth when you die: you can spend it or give it away.
From wills to trusts to insurance, your estate plan covers all the practical considerations required to ensure that your wealth is disbursed and put to use according to your wishes upon your death. These are the mechanisms that will allow you to pass on a family cottage, leave behind money for future generations or direct financial support towards important causes. In other words, your estate plan covers the ‘how.’
But what about the ‘why’?
Building a legacy with meaning
For those who have achieved financial independence, wealth management takes on a deeper meaning. When you die, your prosperity has the potential to brighten the lives of family members, friends, and strangers. However, it also has the potential to result in chaos. We’ve all heard the cautionary tales about families that end up fighting in court, or children and grandchildren going off the rails when access to wealth is not balanced with responsibility and good judgment.
While the estate planning process puts in place the mechanisms to tell your family how your assets should be distributed, it doesn’t address the ‘why.’ To do that, you need to dig deeper to understand and articulate the purpose that you want to drive your legacy.
We call this your family financial philosophy
Putting your motivations, ambitions and inspirations into words can help your family avoid uncertainty after you’re gone. By helping them understand the thinking behind the distribution of your wealth, you can also reduce the risk of family conflict and increase the likelihood that future generations will build on your legacy in a positive way.
Working with a trusted guide
Giving shape to your family financial philosophy takes honesty and introspection. This starts with asking the right questions and considering all the possibilities before you.
Whose lives do you want to touch? What causes do you want to support? Why are these things meaningful to you? What are your hopes for those who will build on what you leave behind?
At Rubach Wealth, we can guide you through this process, ensuring that you have the information and clarity needed to plan your legacy and articulate your philosophy. You can’t explain these things to your family unless you put them into words before you’re gone, so let’s sit down now to give clear meaning to your wealth.