Leaving a legacy for loved ones
PREMIER CROSSWORD PUZZLE
Dear Money Lady, could you tell me how I could leave a legacy for my grandchildren when I die? – Peter. Dear Peter, there really are so many ways to leave a legacy. A legacy is something that is either monetary or meaningful and represents a single person. It speaks to what that person believes in and should reflect all their values over a lifetime, ensuring that their memory has a positive and lasting impression long after they have passed away. I have written in the past about creating a legacy for grandchildren through the purchase of whole life participating insurance, but today, since you’ve asked, let’s look at all the other ways Canadians can create a legacy, whether it be monetary or meaningful. 1. Leadership Legacies: This is a named legacy that supports a public cause. This may be something that you set up in your community to motivate others to evoke change and create goodwill. You most likely would have invested great time, effort, and monetary gifts toward this endeavour before you passed away. 2. Charitable Gifts: There are so many organizations that rely solely on the generosity of people leaving a portion or all their estate to a charity when they die. In Canada, there are just over 85,000 registered charities. 3. Physical Legacies: This type of legacy involves an actual physical location. For example, a farm home or property that has passed on through each generation, never being sold and always staying within the family. 4. Business Legacies: Rather than selling a business at retirement, business owners will change the structure to either have their children carry on the company or even have their employees take over the business. 5. Reflective Legacies: This is your opportunity to tell your story – literally. Reflective legacies are usually done by video, voice recording, or as a written journal to capture the history and life story of the person(s) to be remembered. This can be done by adult children, capturing their parents in conversations that describe their parent’s lives as children, how they met, and all the experiences they had during their lifetime. 6. Community Legacies: This legacy is built around a cause you believe in or a community goal you support. For example, you may decide to leave a portion of your estate to a worthy cause. This could be based on a family member that has suffered, a special need child or even to support a beloved pet. 7. Gift of Life Legacies: This legacy is done by donating your organs or your body to either another person or to Canadian science. 8. Memory Legacies: This type of legacy is to be done while you are living and should be a shared memory with those you love. For example, you may want to take all your family on a European cruise. This could really be anything that you as the legacy giver want to share with your family, such as a trip to your birth place/ country, a picnic that you have catered for all your family (with it being mandatory for all to attend), a weekend get away at a small country inn, a wine tour, a horse ride, etc. Pick something that you would like to do, an event that represents you, and of course, something that gives your family a lasting memory. 9. Monetary Legacies: There are many different types of legacy building products that you can setup for your family or grandchildren. These would include RESPs, non-registered investment accounts, trusts, or life insurance. Whole-Life participating life insurance can also be purchased for a grandchild. It comes with a guaranteed level premium paid up usually within five to 10 years and has a guaranteed compounded growth through dividends. A grandchild can also usually have access to the CSV within the policy to access money if needed throughout their lifetime. Everyone should live their life in a way that creates lasting memories to become a meaningful legacy to their family. Planning for your death is a necessity. Please remember that you must have a will and two powers of attorney because you should want to ensure you have your say over your life and your assets. If you die without an estate plan, the Canadian government will make one for you – guaranteed to not be the way you would have wanted. Good luck and best wishes, Christine Ibbotson Christine Ibbotson is the author of three finance books and the Canadian bestselling book, How to Retire Debt Free & Wealthy. Visit www.askthemoneylady.ca or send a question to info@ askthemoneylady.ca.