Would you like to be able to leave a fortune to your heirs and pass along wisdom in handling money. This would be an estate plan you could be proud of.
Estate planning is the anticipation and arranging for the disposal of your stuff to your loved ones. Your estate plan does not have to be complicated, just effective and thoughtful.
Ultimately, to leave a financial legacy to your children and children’s children requires these five steps:
- Get a will: You don’t need to have a lot of stuff to justify having a will. This is simply a document telling your loved ones how your things are to be distributed.
- Get out of consumer debt: Pay off all your credit cards and cut them up. Get rid of that student loan or ridiculous car payment or lease. Debt subtracts from your income. Your income and how you invest it builds wealth. Debt is a wealth stealer.
- Build an emergency fund: 3 to 6 months of expenses should do the trick. An emergency fund is insurance against the unexpected that is not protected by insurance polices such as auto and home. Having an emergency fund is a building block to wealth creation.
- Invest: If you are out of consumer debt and have an emergency fund, you are almost in the clear. Invest 15% of your income into index mutual funds spread out among 3-4 types.
- Pay off your mortgage: If you have no consumer debt and a paid for home, you don’t owe anything to anyone. Just imagine how much wealth you could build with your freed up income.
- Teach your children: This step should be done throughout the process, but during the journey, your kids will notice the sacrifices you made to get to where you are. Teach them to save, give, and spend money wisely. If you can accomplish this, there is a good chance that this message will be passed on to your grandchildren.
- Increase your charitable giving: Imagine what type of difference you could make in the lives of people who are in need. This goes beyond the tithe.
If you accomplish all seven steps, you will have built up a significant amount of wealth and instilled knowledge into your offspring that could be carried on for generations.
Don’t forget to revisit your will as you move through each step. If you build up enough wealth, you may want to consider a trust. That is for a later conversation.
All of this is possible. It can be accomplished through reading good financial books or seeking out a financial coach such as myself.
Question: What steps can YOU take NOW to create en estate plan you can be proud of?