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Leaving a Legacy – Or Not

Last week I happened to be reading a piece by a legacy and estate attorney who was, not surprisingly, talking about legacy being the most important thing a person can do – to leave something behind for family. 

While on the one hand I agree – it’s right there in our tagline that we focus on generational wealth – I do know that there are those folks who don’t necessarily want to leave a large sum for their progeny. Maybe they’d rather spend the money while they’re alive, or perhaps philanthropic work is more important to them. Maybe they don’t have kids. Or, maybe those kids are expecting a handout and they want to teach them the rewards of hard work. Remember that story about Warren Buffet refusing to pay for his granddaughter’s college? 

If you’re one of those people, I apologize for always talking about generational wealth. At Family Financial Partners, we pride ourselves on planning for your specific objectives and goals, so please know, we want you to be 100 percent open and honest with us. It’s not wrong if sharing your wealth with future generations isn’t one of your goals.

The beauty of having a financial planning team and working with so many client families over the last 20-plus years is that I’ve come to realize how much I truly enjoy and embrace that each family is unique. I revel in the challenge of creating individualized financial plans that aren’t in the form of a cookie cutter. 

Many of you have already come in for your first and even second meeting of the year. So as you’re sitting on your front porch this summer reflecting on your life, perhaps you’re realizing that you haven’t felt comfortable voicing to us that your legacy wishes differ from what seems to be the norm. Well, jot those thoughts down and bring them up in your next planning meeting. It’s okay to have an opinion that goes against the grain, and to do things with your money that your neighbors or coworkers might not do with theirs. Those are your hard-earned assets!

Life doesn’t happen in a perfect air-tight box, and I’m privileged to have the opportunity to work with each of you in a way that meets your specific needs, addresses your goals, and helps you reach for your dreams. 

So, with Memorial Day behind us and the days getting longer, have a wonderful and relaxing summer. Enjoy the time with your kids and grandkids, and let us know how we can help. 

Article by David Smyth, Senior Partner at Family Financial Partners — a financial services firm in Lexington, Kentucky.

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