Leave a legacy with these inheritance planning ideas

19 May 2016
Retirement is a wonderful time: It’s called the ‘golden years’ because you really have the opportunity and the luxury of time to enjoy them! However, there are a number of important things that need to be thought of during this time. And one day when you eventually shuffle off this mortal coil, you will really want to leave a legacy, not merely a nest egg of cash.

What will your family have to remember you by? For those looking for a little inspiration, we have compiled a short list of some great inheritance planning ideas for you to consider based on this article:


Write your story down

When you are thinking about inheritance planning, one of the most powerful ways to leave your legacy is to write your life story down for your family. Don’t worry about your sentences being grammatically correct or weaving together the perfect story — you don’t need to be a writer to jot down your life. What matters is that the important parts are down on paper. Pick anecdotes that are particularly special to you that you want your family to know about, research your genealogy (you can use sites such as this one and let future generations understand where they came from and describe the family members they never got to meet.


When you are finished include a “legacy letter” written especially for your family. This letter should come right from the heart, telling them exactly how you feel about them — it’s an opportunity to say everything you have always wanted to. Family is precious, let them know just how precious they are to you. When thinking about your inheritance, writing these kinds of things down in a journal may not be at the top of your priority list, but it should be. To your family, a memoir will be absolutely invaluable.


Give to others

Another wonderful way to leave a legacy in a broader sense is to donate to a charity or a cause that you believe in. Or if you are feeling particularly generous, this article states that “Wealthier people can create a charitable foundation or a trust that provides ongoing distributions, so the gift has more lasting value.” Alternatively, you can set up private trusts for your grandchildren that they will have access to once they hit a certain age, or you can set up a “meaningful gifting plan” where you give sums of money to your family while you are still alive, so that you can watch them make the most of this special gift.


Create an “ethical will”

When you are thinking about your inheritance planning, consider writing an ethical will. Technically, an ethical will should be an extension of your “legacy letter” quite different to your last will and testament which is a binding, legal document. Instead, your ethical will can be the reasoning for the choices you made in your last will and testament. This doesn’t need to be in any set format or layout — an ethical will can be done in writing, done as a video or as a voice recording. This special document allows you to pass on your values, your understanding of the world and the lessons you learned in your lifetime. The article mentioned above sums it up beautifully: “An ethical will is your way of telling your personal story, tying together what you’ve accomplished, how you’ve lived your life and what you hope your heirs will take from you. It’s your way of still being in the room, which is the point of leaving a legacy.”


Pre-empt and aim to minimise family conflict

One of the top things to try to do when you are looking at your inheritance planning is to think of ways to minimise family conflict. Unfortunately, all things surrounding inheritance often brings out the worst in people, and can cause a lot of conflict. Here are some things to consider when you are thinking about your inheritance inspired by this article:


  • Don’t show favouritism: Leave your inheritance to children equally, regardless of their financial situations.

  • Seek your family’s advice where appropriate (such as matters relating to a family business).

  • Make clear distinctions between money that is given as a loan, and that which is given as a gift. Always be fair when it comes to monetary gifts with children — if one gets a gift, so should the others.

  • Where possible, avoid leaving certain assets to all children — joint ownership is seldom a good idea.

  • Ensure that all your choices relating to your inheritance are logical and fair at all times.


When it comes to inheritance planning, keep in mind that one of the very best ways you can leave an incredible legacy is to pass down property that will remain in the family. A place that your family can live to the fullest or enjoy as a holiday home — all while remembering fond memories of you. If that sounds like a great way to leave your legacy, then consider looking for property in the incredible coastal town of Calpe which has ample sunshine, sand, and sea — a place the whole family will love. For more information on the incredible properties we have available or to take a look at our portfolio of villas in Calpe, then contact us.


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