Are You Waiting to do Your Legacy Plan?

Posted on by Heidi Brunsting

By Joe Sturniolo, Kardia Family Legacy & Estate Planning Services

I found that people tend to put off planning until something happens that wakens them to the urgency to do so. For instance, if your parents die, and the estate is crushed by taxes, you become intimately more aware of the dangers of planning being done or done poorly. We may change the estate plan or decide to create one when a child rejects us, or start our estate planning when a spouse dies and we are ill prepared.

I think we would all admit that it would be hard to fall asleep if there was a flood or fire. I think that is also true of tragedies and emergencies driving us deeper with the Lord. It is often times difficult to keep our passion for the Lord hot when things are going well. We pray more for our children that are struggling than for the ones that seem to have it together.

How do we approach our Christian Family Legacy with the same fervor that we have when faced with trials?

Why wait to create a Family Legacy plan that has a Godly impact on your children that saves every dollar in estate, capital gains and income taxes that is possible?  Why wait until you are in a fire?

The reason you plan is not just for death and taxes. It is about the welfare and heart of our family today! Planning that includes a vision statement and family meetings is not only the method of creating a legacy that matters in the future, but also a method of bringing the family together to share common virtues and values.

What are some things you will need to avoid when planning?

  1. Avoid hiring an attorney before you have done a plan.
  2. Avoid trying to rush the planning.
  3. Avoid keeping your spouse in the dark about the plan.
  4. Avoid anything but transparency with the children.
  5. Avoid even starting the plan unless you have done a Vision Statement and shared that Vision Statement with the entire family.
  6. Avoid attorneys, accountants and planners that do not have in-depth knowledge of and share your kingdom mindset.
  7. Avoid planners that do not have a thorough knowledge of every strategy available to reduce taxes significantly.
  8. Avoid doing a plan that does not include all of your advisors as part of the process.
  9. Avoid insurance being the solution to all planning challenges.
  10. Avoid completing the plan without a family meeting that presents the plan to the entire family and gets a buy in from all family members.
  11. Avoid putting the plan on a shelf …review at least once a year.

Passing on a Christian Family Legacy that matters and that is God-centered is not something that you can do effectively in a meeting with your attorney. It takes time, prayer and careful preparation. It may be the most meaningful thing you have ever done. Don’t wait for a fire or flood. 

Joe Sturniolo believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom. Sturniolo is an educator, author and speaker with a bold goal to maximize the ability of high-capacity Christians and their families to model Jesus’ love through better stewardship and increase their impact for Kingdom causes. Kardia’s unique process helps Christians and their families eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize their giving to worthy Christian charities, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting family legacy to impact God’s Kingdom while maintaining their present lifestyle.

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