What ‘Non-Financial Assets’ Should Be Included in Your Estate Plan? (Part 2)

Last week I wrote about 3 important components of planning for your non-financial legacy. Here are 4 more essential components to include in your legacy planning:

4. Family Heritage

The roots of your family tree are part of your identity and show you some of the family behaviors and patterns you can build upon or learn from. There are a number of online resources you can use to do family research and go back several generations to learn more about where your family originated from. If possible, you might want to try to locate photos, letters, stories, and other documents that belonged to your ancestors. A DNA ancestry test can also give you more insight and information regarding your origins and health history. Learning more about your family can help to shape your identity and give you knowledge that you may wish to pass down to future generations.

5. Community Impact

There are countless ways to help others in your community, but only a certain number of ways that fit your personality, values, and individual skills and abilities. It is worth taking the time to determine which causes you wish to support and how best to help.

Charitable giving is an excellent way for you and your family to give back to the world and help others. Philanthropy can help to teach humility, gratitude, and responsibility as well as a sense of care and connection within your community.

6. Systems for Living

Systems for Living are systems and practices you’ve established to create and maintain productivity for you and your family, a personal life that you find fulfilling, and a significant legacy. For example, one part of this could be holding weekly family meetings.

You may also want to create a family brain trust. Think about what your heirs will need to learn before they are prepared to receive their inheritance, such as how to manage property or your business. Also consider skills that you wish to pass down through the family from one generation to the next, such as how to make your grandma’s favorite recipes.

7. Public Presence

Your public presence is the world’s view and perception of you and includes things such as your personal reputation (both online and offline), media coverage, and your public message – perhaps through books, websites, blogs, videos, art, or other media. Having a strong public presence can have a lot of positive effects, such as increased business or networking opportunities, approachability, a sense of trust, a well-respected family name, and the ability to create change.

Intangible Effects on Your Financial Situation

It is best if your non-financial legacy is built alongside a solid financial strategy. Your philosophical vision and financial plans may remain separate for some family members who are not involved with your finances, but for those who are also a part of your financial planning, your values and family dynamics play an important part in how your fortune and estate will be managed and cared for.

For help with your estate plan, contact us at Wilson and Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC at 708 482 7090 for our main office in LaGrange, Illinois or at 847 656 8958 for our Northbrook, Illinois office.