How to Build a Financial Legacy

iQuanti: You’ve worked hard for your money and the wealth-building assets you’ve accumulated over your lifetime. That’s why it’s important to think about what you’ll do with that wealth after you’re gone. You have the opportunity to build a financial legacy that will impact generations to come. Here’s what to consider as you build your legacy. 
Define Your Goals 
Step one of building your legacy is figuring out what that means to you. Ask yourself important questions like: 
Once you develop a vision for your legacy, it makes the process of putting it in motion much easier. 
Figure Out What You Have 
We often like to think that everything we own is a treasure, but the truth is not everything will find a home after we’re gone. Talk to your loved ones about what types of things they would want. Certain items may not have a lot of financial value, but loved ones will view them as much more significant gifts. 
Create Your Will 
Your will is the document that will ensure your wishes are fulfilled. And if you don’t already have one, now is the time to get this official document in place. Not only does a will ensure wealth is distributed according to your goals, but it may also offer peace of mind to your family as they grieve. 
Get Your Life Insurance in Order 
Part of legacy planning is making sure you have appropriate life insurance in place. The right life insurance policy can help support your family financially by providing income to cover lost wages or burial expenses, typically during someone’s peak earning years. However, universal life insurance can offer a permanent death benefit as long as your policy is in place, and also add a cash value component. 
General advice says a life insurance policy should be 10 times your income, but if you’re not sure how much you’ll need to support your goals, you can use a life insurance calculator to figure it out. 
Update Your Beneficiaries 
If you have accounts that use beneficiaries, it’s important to keep them up-to-date. Life insurance policies, mutual funds, annuities, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) may require you to submit a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) who would benefit from the policy upon your passing. Failure to define a beneficiary means it may be left up to the court to decide who will receive those assets. 
Work with a Professional 
If you’re feeling lost in the estate planning process, estate attorneys and financial planners can help steer you in the right direction. When you meet with a professional, it’s essential to take your list of goals and desires to clearly communicate your intentions and ensure the professional helps fulfill your wants. 
Regularly Re-Assess Your End-of-Life Plan 
You may need to make changes after you create your estate plan, which is why it’s crucial to re-assess regularly. Once a year, it’s wise to sit down with your plan, go over listed beneficiaries to account for deaths and new births, and update your will accordingly. 
The Bottom Line 
Taking time to create a solid estate plan means less stress on your heirs when the time comes for them to live out your plans. 
Conversely, failure to plan means the culmination of your lifetime of hard work could end up in court for months or years while someone else figures out how to divvy up your assets. While planning for your demise certainly isn’t the most pleasant thought, building a legacy of wealth and generosity is something you can take pride in doing. 
Source: iQuanti, Inc.