The dynamics of wealth planning and decision-making for parents may seem a bit complicated and challenging. Once you start thinking about your legacy and how you envision it taking shape, you may find yourself asking a number of financial questions, such as: How much money am I going to leave my children? Do I include extended family? Who will steer the family business?
There is another crucial aspect of legacy that’s often overlooked: the values behind your success. Seventy-four percent of parents say values and life lessons are most important to pass on to the next generation. 1 Sharing the values that shaped your success with your family helps ensure they appreciate your hard work and understand how much it means to you, and can have an impact on future generations.
Consider implementing an ethical will to complement estate planning. An ethical will is a document, usually one or two pages, mentioning the values that helped shape your success. It is usually an end-of-life summary that is used in conjunction with documents that determine how your assets will be distributed. Some families write them together during family gatherings, gathering different insights and learning lessons from each other.
An ethical will may mention your vision and wishes for your family and generations to come, encouraging them to make a difference, and to value your legacy. Some ethical wills offer rich insights and are highly descriptive, mentioning major life events and how they came about in shaping personal goals, beliefs and values.
Ethical wills don’t have a legal standing, but they do help pass on important life lessons, providing your family with a clear sense of your personal values. It also helps avoid any discussions or misunderstandings regarding money matters, considering it complements estate planning and can also be used to improve communication among family members; helping explain why your plan was set up a certain way.
For more information, contact The Menashe Morley Group in the Rancho Santa Fe office 858-381-8113. The Menashe Morley Group, serving the community for over 34 years: David Menashe is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor, Bruce Morley CRPC ® is a First Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor and John Naviaux CPWA ® is a Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor. The investments or strategies presented do not take into account the investment objectives or financial needs of particular investors. It is important that you consider this information in the context of your personal risk tolerance and investment goals. Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager, and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning strategy. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S”) and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). “Merrill Lynch” refers to any company in the Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., group of companies, which are wholly owned by Bank of America Corporation. Investment products offered through MLPF&S and insurance and annuity products offered through MLLA: Are Not FDIC Insured, Are Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value. © 2017 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. ARYDLCQC
1 Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus – a Merrill Lynch retirement study conducted in partnership with Age Wave, 2013