Beyond the Nest Egg: Is Your Legacy Plan on Solid Ground?

When planning for retirement, many focus only on building their nest egg, but there’s more to consider. Legacy planning is often overlooked, yet it is crucial.

Shockingly, according to a recent study, only 32% of Americans have an estate plan. Many people believe having an estate plan is important. However, common reasons for not having one include procrastination, thinking they need more assets, and the cost of setting one up.

Without a legacy plan, your assets could be distributed contrary to your wishes, causing potential conflicts and financial losses for your loved ones.

The Bulman Wealth Group focuses on offering comprehensive retirement and legacy planning through our wealth management services in Roseville. We have decades of experience guiding individuals and families through the complexities of retirement planning across Northern and Southern California.

This blog post covers the importance of estate planning, how to get started, stay organized, and some key factors of a solid legacy plan. 

Getting Your Legacy Plan Started

When creating or updating your estate plan, start by identifying your goals: Do you want to leave most of your assets to your children or grandchildren? Or do you plan to support charitable causes with your assets? 

Creating a legacy plan is not just about passing on financial assets or property. It’s also an opportunity to give back and positively impact family or causes that are meaningful to you. You can make charitable donations or set up a trust or foundation to support your philanthropic goals.

This lets you leave a lasting impact, offers tax benefits, and engages your loved ones in charitable giving. You can use your legacy plan to pass on important values to future generations by supporting purposes or causes that align with your beliefs.

Discuss your legacy plan with your spouse or significant other to ensure it aligns with your shared values and goals.

Organizing Your Financial Assets

Once you know what you want to accomplish with your legacy plan, it’s time to gather and organize all necessary documents. This includes taking inventory of all your financial holdings, such as:

  • Retirement accounts: IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement savings plans.
  • Investment accounts: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment holdings.
  • Real estate: Primary residence, vacation properties, or investment properties.
  • Life insurance: Policies that can provide a death benefit to your beneficiaries.
  • Other assets: Personal belongings, collections, or business interests.

When you have a complete picture of your assets, consider how best to use them as the foundation of your legacy goals.

Building a Solid Legacy Foundation

To carry out your legacy plan, you need to consider several important factors. Here are a few key points.

Clarity for Heirs

A well-defined will or trust is essential for outlining your wishes for asset distribution, minimizing confusion and potential conflict among loved ones.

A will specifies how your assets should be distributed after your death. A revocable living trust allows you to manage your assets during your lifetime and can be altered as needed. An irrevocable trust cannot be changed once established and offers greater protection potential from creditors. Additionally, they can provide tax benefits by removing assets from your taxable estate.

Effective estate planning requires open communication. Involving your loved ones in the process can help everyone understand your plans and provide an opportunity to share your values and intentions. This transparency can address questions or concerns, ensuring your wishes are understood and respected.

Incapacity Planning and Healthcare Directives

It’s true we don’t like to think about a time when we might be incapacitated, but it’s vital to consider designating someone you trust to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. This means naming a power of attorney to manage your financial and medical decisions.

Consider utilizing a living will and a healthcare power of attorney regarding healthcare directives. These documents outline your medical preferences and designate someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you can’t do so yourself.

Choose a trustworthy individual to act on your behalf and maintain open communication about your wishes. Regularly updating these directives is also essential, as your preferences may change.

Aim to Protect Your Wealth

Estate planning can involve aiming to shield your wealth from threats like creditors or lawsuits. This may include setting up trusts or other legal structures to preserve your assets for future generations.

Incorporating asset protection strategies into your estate plan may help ensure your goal of preserving your hard-earned wealth for your loved ones. It’s wise to explore all options and consult a financial advisor and legal professional to develop an effective plan tailored to your circumstances.

Beneficiary Designations

Review the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and life insurance policies to ensure they reflect your current intentions. Designate secondary beneficiaries in case your primary beneficiary cannot receive the assets. Verify that your beneficiary designations align with other elements of your estate plan, such as wills and trusts. Update these designations regularly as life circumstances and relationships change. 

Tax Considerations

Strategic estate planning can help minimize estate taxes for your beneficiaries. This can include utilizing gifting strategies, establishing trusts, and taking advantage of tax deductions for charitable giving.

Review and update your estate plan regularly, as tax laws may change. Knowing the tax implications of different assets and planning for them can also make your estate plan more effective.

Utilizing a financial advisor and legal professional’s experience can help you optimize your estate plan to make it tax-efficient and up-to-date.

Bulman Wealth Group: Your Partner in Building a Secure Legacy

Creating a legacy plan can be a complex and emotionally charged process. At Bulman Wealth Group, we will work with you to understand your unique circumstances, values, and aspirations for your legacy.

Our team of financial advisors with a fiduciary duty knows how important it is to create a retirement plan that works well with your estate planning goals. Our compelling retirement plan process breaks down complex concepts into clear, actionable steps, focusing on income, investments, taxes, healthcare, and legacy planning.

Contact Bulman Wealth Group today to schedule a complimentary consultation and discuss how we can help you build a solid legacy for yourself and your loved ones.

All content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide any tax or legal advice or provide the basis for any financial decisions. Nor is it intended to be a projection of current or future performance or an indication of future results.

Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Chris Bulman Inc. dba Bulman Wealth Group and our editorial staff. The information contained in this material has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy and completeness and does not purport to be a complete analysis of the materials discussed. All information and ideas should be discussed in detail with your individual advisor prior to implementation. Investment advisory services are offered through Chris Bulman Inc dba Bulman Wealth Group, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Insurance products and services are offered through Chris Bulman, Inc. dba BWG Insurance Agency and Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., CA State Insurance License # 0M46922. Being registered as an investment advisor does not imply a certain level of skill or training.

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