Most of us want to leave this world knowing we made a difference in the lives of family and friends, in our community and even the world. But the legacy we leave is as unique as we are – a culmination of personal priorities, passions and experiences.
What are your wishes?
Some people may want to remember their alma mater or favorite charity in their will. Others may want to keep their money in the family, perhaps helping fund a grandchild’s education. Another may leave a memorial gift in honor of a dear friend. For many people, leaving a financial legacy involves a combination of goals.
Take a Team Approach
With so many options, it can be difficult to identify your top priorities and determine how to divide your estate. A helpful first step is discussing your options and making joint decisions with your spouse or partner, especially if you built your wealth together. It is also important to talk about your legacy plans with heirs..
Once you have a clear idea of your wishes, consult the experts. A wealth planner, tax advisor and other financial and legal professionals can help you make strategic estate planning decisions. Below are just a few of the wealth transfer strategies you may want to discuss with this team:
- Property: Consider setting up a family limited partnership or trust, which can offer tax breaks and allow the transfer of ownership among family members.
- Personal belongings: Although an heirloom might not have much market value, it can have considerable sentimental value, creating conflict among family members. Avoid potential disputes among loved ones by creating a list of who will inherit these heirlooms.
- Cash gifts: Give money to heirs while you are living (up to $14,000 per person annually) to reduce estate taxes — or gift it to charity.
- Stock: Bequest depreciating stock to your favorite charity, which lowers your tax bill and has no tax consequences for the charity.
Put Your Retirement First
Keep in mind, whatever your legacy goals, it is important to take care of your own financial needs first. Baby Boomers live much longer than previous generations, which means retirement savings may need to stretch further. Needing more savings for retirement can affect the financial resources available for legacy planning.
How We Can Help
At Fifth Third, planning begins with a conversation about your wishes and goals. By understanding your aspirations, concerns for your family and philanthropic objectives, we can help you navigate the options available and create a plan that makes the most of your estate. Learn more about our planning services by talking with a Fifth Third Bank financial advisor.