With careful planning, most people don’t run out of money or assets before the end of life. Money, as they say, is something that has no use to you when your life ends, however it can provide benefit for others. Planning a legacy is something that often gets overlooked, yet everyone, even a person of very modest means, has the ability to have an ongoing beneficial impact on the world after death. It can be so much more than simply leaving your estate to your closest living relatives.
There comes a point when retirees, especially those with relatively large amounts of money invested, realise they are not going to use up all their funds within their lifetime. In fact, this applies also to younger people who may be facing a terminal illness. The advantage of putting these funds to good use while you are still alive is the satisfaction that comes from seeing the impact on others. Donations to a registered charity are tax deductible for the donor, whereas bequests are not, and this is another reason to think about giving prior to death while still retaining sufficient funds for personal security.
Legacies are very much a personal thing and there are a huge range of options as to what form they may take. They can be simple or complicated, often requiring legal or other specialist input. The thought and effort that is required to put a legacy in place is much more easily dealt with well before the final stage of life. Planning a legacy is about setting some goals for the impact you want to achieve, choosing appropriate beneficiaries, whether they be family members or charitable purposes, and putting in place legal structures such as a will, memorandum of wishes or trust, to ensure your intent is implemented.