creating your legacyOne of the most overlooked aspects of estate planning is the opportunity to create your legacy. Believe it or not, creating a legacy isn’t all about having Northwest Iowa libraries and hospitals named after you. Instead, there are some more cost-efficient, yet great ways that you can help your family remember your values and beliefs.

A very thoughtful (and completely free) way to create your legacy is to write annual letters to your children and other important people in your life. These letters can then be kept with your estate planning documents. Should you pass away, you know that each of these people has a special message sharing your feelings and thoughts.

Your letters don’t just have to be about leaving messages for after your death. Many people choose to do this type of thing and then present the letters to children upon graduation or on their wedding days. Estate planning in Northwest Iowa certainly deals with death, but it also gives us a reason to think about life and the way we want to live it.

Gifts on Your Behalf

Another way to create a legacy is to determine important causes in your life and then support them through your estate planning. Whether you are an avid contributor to the American Cancer Society or you have a soft spot for a Sioux County animal shelter, these are the kinds of non-profits and charities you can support to ensure your values are represented in your planning.

Many nonprofit organizations will happily work with you to put together some kind of a giving plan for your estate. There may be tax benefits, in addition to knowing that you’re doing something important for the world.

Creating a Family Trust

An estate planning lawyer in Northwest Iowa can also assist with setting up a family trust that can be used to further the causes you or your loved ones are passionate about. This is a great way to build a legacy, not just for yourself, but for your entire family. They will be able to work together to find ways to use your money to support different good causes while also strengthening their own bonds through working together.

If you’re unsure of how or why you should set up a family trust of this sort, definitely take the time to meet with a qualified estate planning lawyer in Northwest Iowa. He or she will likely have many other suggestions for ways to use your planning in order to help build your legacy.