What Will Be Your legacy?
Students at our local high school are asked to consider this question repeatedly from freshman orientation to senior year. Some answer with academic achievement. Others excel in band, athletics, drama, choir, or art. Some enrich all of our lives with soul-shaping memories like Special Olympics. Perhaps most leave their deepest legacies in quiet moments of friendship they will revisit decades into the future in times of struggle.
We All Leave A Legacy.
For parents and grandparents, choosing an intentional life-long legacy through careful planning is vital for the well-being of our families. Legacy planning originated as a process for family-run business owners to thoughtfully prepare younger generations to achieve continued success when their time came to step into leadership roles. After observing that typically 70 percent of wealthy families lose that wealth by the second generation and 90 percent by the third generation, estate planners became more successful in convincing successful business owners to begin this preparation early.
The mission of Smoky Mountain Legacy Partners is to extend this type of thoughtful planning for all clients, regardless of “net worth” and other such material measuring sticks. Our goal is to help clients capture the full value of the life experiences and values they most want to ensure get passed along to younger family members.
Most of us greet the birth or adoption of each child and grandchild with a renewed sense of resolve to give our best efforts to the tiny human. We want to share the wonders of life with them, from exploring the slopes and streams of the Smokies to chasing waves on the beach. We want them to know both the pleasure of a difficult job well done and the necessity for balancing work with play. Many of us most deeply desire to pass along the belonging, hope, and joy we find in our faith traditions and volunteer activities. And we pass along tidbits and stories from our own parents and grandparents from time to time.
Yet most of us sense from time to time that important matters may have fallen through the cracks. And regardless of our success in accumulating assets, we may recognize that our money alone cannot ensure the support and security we want for our families. In fact, when hard times come, our relationships and the memories and values we have shared may most strengthen their will to persevere.
Estate planning – legacy-focused or not – may seem like an odd choice for addressing any gaps between our best intentions and our daily choices, but as we gently help clients face the reality of death and potential disability.
Along with the peace of mind planning brings, we believe our legacy planning process can foster a deeper appreciation of life, more thoughtful daily decision-making, and a greater sense of purpose during our healthy years. We aim to partner with clients as they define and harness the power that comes with that purpose in service to their families and communities.