Legacy and estate planning may seem like something only those close to retiring should handle, but in reality, these are plans we should all be implementing to protect our family and our wealth.

Delaying a legacy or estate plan puts our assets at risk and could provide a lot of stress on the loved ones that would have to navigate our wishes if we suddenly passed without the proper documentation in place. In some instances, these tough decisions could lead to heated family disagreements.

One of the best ways you can protect your family, your wealth, and your legacy wishes, is to work with a professional on establishing a legacy plan. Death is something we will all face no matter the stage of life and as such, it is better to plan for the future and determine how we want our assets divided.

Active vs. Passive Decision Making

While legacy planning crosses the minds of most people throughout their careers at some point, taking concrete steps to develop an estate plan may unfortunately not come to fruition. Active instead of passive decisions are critical for estate and legacy planning.

An active decision is when a plan or clear next step follows your choice. If you know how you want to build, grow, and pass on your estate and financial legacy, it is time to get that written down and implemented with the help of a professional. Continuing to passively legacy plan will result in no plan being in play should something suddenly happen to you.

Being prepared through clear steps is the best thing you can do for your finances and your family’s future. Protect your financial life savings by implementing an action plan today alongside an expert.

4 Common Mistakes of Legacy Planning

Many common mistakes occur when it comes to legacy planning. Being aware of these potential errors can help ensure that you also do not make them in your estate plan.

1. Assuming the Best

Unfortunately, one common mistake is assuming that nothing will happen to you or your spouse anytime soon. Life throws people curveballs every day. Nobody is guaranteed time on Earth with their assets. No matter your age or health, it is critical to plan for any situation that could leave your assets and financial wealth out of your hands. Control what you can now to feel more secure about your future legacy.

2. Thinking You Can Skip a POA

A Power of Attorney (POA) document should be one of the first steps in any legacy plan, regardless of your age or health. This document is a surefire way to ensure your wishes occur the way you want them to be. And while you may not be here to speak for yourself, your POA can be.

You will want to appoint a POA to someone in your life that you trust and who is also willing to be that person for you. This individual may have to make difficult decisions that not everyone will agree with, so having someone decisive and trustworthy will significantly benefit your legacy plan.

If you passively decide on a POA but do not file the proper documentation, you may have multiple disadvantages in the case of an accident. Your estate will be appointed a POA by the court instead of you selecting who speaks on your behalf. You will also lose all control of who makes decisions if you cannot, which can have devastating impacts on how you want your financial legacy carried out. Actively decide to appoint a POA by working with a professional to file the proper documentation.

3. Not Updating Your Estate Plan

While creating a plan for your estate and financial legacy is a big step, updating and maintaining your plan regularly as life persists is equally important. Your estate plan is a living document and should be adjusted to fit life updates as soon as they happen. A clear plan can help you avoid an unwanted POA from gaining power or the wrong person inheriting an asset if your estate plan is not up-to-date. You should never put off an update as you may lose the opportunity if a devastating accident should occur.

4. Refusing Professional Help

Working alongside professional tax strategists and financial planners can ensure you and your family are well-positioned for success in the event of your passing. The last thing you would want your family to deal with is an unfinalized will, which could lead to disagreements and arguments. A professional can ensure that your wishes are documented correctly and fulfilled in the way you want them to be. Working with a professional for your estate plan doesn’t leave any room for debate.

At TSP Family Office, we can assist with taking the proper steps to protect the people and the assets that mean the most to you. Contact our office today at (772) 257-7888 or info@tspfamilyoffice.com to take active steps to build your legacy plan.