For many of us, it's important to leave something meaningful behind for the people and causes that matter most to us. With proper planning and execution, it's possible to create a financial legacy that will support your loved ones, your church or the organizations that matter to you, after you pass. We'll discuss ways you can leave a legacy through your generosity that makes a lasting impact.
Set intentions for your financial legacy
Begin by defining your purpose and considering how you want to use your gifts to support your heirs and community. It's easier to create a plan of action if you've explored your goals, motivations and the values behind your intentions. Asking the right questions now can help your loved ones later.
- Have you financially covered funeral arrangements so your family doesn't incur costs?
- Are there other family expenses you want to make sure are covered once you're gone?
- Will the funding for your spouse's retirement be affected?
- Do you have plans to ensure your family traditions will continue?
- Do you have funding in place if you want to provide for future education expenses for your children or grandchildren?
- What causes matter most to you and what would you like to leave them?
- If you're an active church member, how do you support your church today?
Ways to leave a financial legacy
Next, take inventory of the ways you can give through your financial legacy. There are many ways to give, both today and after death. Consider all the things you have to share:
- Your time, talents or expertise
- Retirement accounts like IRAs or 401(k)s
- Stocks, mutual funds and other investments
- Annuities or life insurance contracts
- A business you own
- A charitable foundation you established
- Your home or other property
You can evaluate your options and assets with a financial advisor and estate planning attorney, who can help you decide what plans fit best with your goals and situation. While Thrivent does not provide specific legal or tax advice, we can partner with you and your tax professional or attorney.
Leaving a financial legacy: 6 things to consider
To cement your legacy, pull together a plan that maximizes financial products created for giving and generosity to work in tandem with what you are planning to leave your heirs. Here are some common ways people go about it:
1. Make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date
A straightforward way to make your financial legacy clear is through
2. Create a charitable trust that benefits your heirs & charity
One way to structure a financial legacy is with
3. Receive a stream of income while you're living with charitable gift annuity
4. Create a personalized donor-advised fund
5. Provide for others with life insurance
6. Designate gift recipients in your will
Your will is a good tool, not only for communicating your wishes for your family, but also for
Putting your legacy plan into action
Deciding which tactics to implement for your planned giving goals is a big step that you can approach in stages. First think about your ideals, your values and the legacy you want to leave. When you have this in mind, then you can map out the details of setting your legacy on course. Weigh which strategies might be best suited for your goals and start putting them in motion.
If you need guidance along the way,