Archive for family legacy

How to approach legacy assets in your estate planning

Legacy assets may not always be worth much, but it’s still important to handle them in the right way: by communicating with your family members about your wishes.

By Mark Hartnett, president, Argent Family Wealth Services

After a loved one passes away, surviving family members frequently find themselves squabbling not over money, but over personal items left behind.

In many cases, the value of these so-called “legacy” assets is more sentimental than monetary — a great-grandfather’s shotgun, for instance, or a mother’s engagement ring.

These assets may not be worth much, but it’s still important to handle them in the right way — by clearly specifying in your will who gets what. The key is to remain intentional with your planning.

The first and most important step is to communicate with your family members about your wishes. Ask for their feedback and collaborate as a group to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the fate of your ‘67 Chevy. No matter how small the legacy asset, list it in your estate. Doing this now will go a long way to keep the peace and avoid potential sibling quarrels.

You may determine it best for some assets to be sold, such as those with high monetary value. But many legacy items are likely to be sentimental, which could make them worthwhile to pass along as keepsakes to a special niece or grandson. Have a plan for either avenue by mentioning everything (and everyone) by name. Consider the following checklist:

What percentage of value does it represent of your estate? The item may have great value to you both monetarily and personally, but it could be sold to benefit all surviving family members equally upon your death.

Are there future storage or maintenance costs to consider? It’s not uncommon to forget these details. If you own a classic car, for example, you should consider the cost of storing the vehicle, needed maintenance or regular specialty washes to protect its appearance. These add up over time.

Is there a rate of depreciation to consider, or is it increasing in value? Weigh the item’s past, present and future value. Everything is evaluated differently. Some items might be best to sell immediately or within a few years. Others may be worth significantly more if they’re kept in good shape for a couple of decades. Research these values and seek proper appraisal.

These are just a few things to consider. There are many other angles to keep in mind when it comes to different legacy assets, which is why you should consult with a wealth management advisor. Most importantly, be sure to keep everyone apprised of your plans and wishes for these treasured possessions so that your gifts remain gifts — not a potential burden or kindling for a dispute.


Heritage Book Review: Start With Why

by Whitney Hufnagel

Unlike other books we have reviewed this year, 51AJNX1iZsL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_Start With Why by Simon Sinek is not related to the world of finance. In fact, it is a book on leadership, which inspires individuals to look beyond what they do in their everyday lives and investigate why they do the things they do. This book is especially applicable when trying to define your own passions, company passions, or even family passions. In fact, this is a wonderful book for any family to read, especially if they want to create a legacy that lasts throughout multiple generations.

Since I was reading this book as part of a leadership group within the company, my career and why I choose to wake up and come here every morning was my primary focus. Like most of us know, it is easy to fall into the day-to-day grind and forget why we chose a particular path. Reading this book truly reminded me how fortunate I was to stumble on such a great company like Heritage. I am blessed to work with some of the most intelligent individuals each day, but most of all I found a place where I can combine my passions.

I have always valued family. Both my husband and I grew up in very tight-knit families. As one would suspect, we spend a lot of time with our families, and I usually talk to my mom on the phone at least once or twice per day. As I have grown older, I have come to realize that our families are what they are because of the core values and traditions each possesses, and it is so very important to always remember the values and traditions that define our families. The moment we forget or do not pass them on, is the moment the family foundation becomes unstable. This invites a host of problems such as spitefulness, anger, hate, jealousy, and greed into the family dynamic. These are the things that cause families and family legacies to die. Like most everyone, I’ve witnessed instances of this throughout my life, and these moments have impacted my life and career decisions more than I initially realized.

At Heritage, I am able combine my desire to educate with my love of finance to help clients realize their goals. More importantly, I am able to be a part of a business that values family and understands a family legacy will not survive unless unique family values and traditions are passed down and never forgotten.

From the Publisher:

“A powerful and penetrating exploration of what separates great companies and great leaders from the rest.”

-Polly LaBarre, coauthor of Mavericks at Work – 
Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.

Get it here or at your favorite book retailer.