Families should be concerned about and thinking about
Legacy is more than distributing money to heirs. Historically this was the focus because the next generation needed the
help. That’s not true anymore. Many families may find that their children and grandchildren are doing just fine. More
importantly, assets that are simply gifted will be spent quickly and likely not have any lasting value. A different approach
can create something that still helps but is wrapped in a structure that endures and continues to give over an extended
period of time. Think about your wealth and potential in a different way – think of it as an opportunity to create Legacy.
This concept can be understood using the word Legacy as an acronym.
L = Longevity
Plan on you and your family each living much longer than they did in the past. Developing technology
indicates that it is likely that life can be extended hundreds of years. Many of these technologies are
forecast to be available by the year 2045. Make it to 2045? Plan on living a very long time.
Regardless, think about structures, programs and opportunities that can last a long time. Things that keep on giving.
E = Endowment mindset
An endowment in its typical definition is a gift or a fund granted to a university, hospital or charity. The
concept is that the gift is to be invested and then only the investment growth is to be spent – never the
principal gift. If a portfolio grows 8%, then subtract the inflation rate from the prior year and only
spend the amount that remains. Don’t ever strangle the golden goose or chop down the money tree. Only use the eggs or the fruit.
G = Giving
Create a family foundation or scholarship fund that serves a group or charity that you care about. Use
the funds to build upon values and principles that are meaningful to you. There is always a
tremendous humanitarian need throughout the world. Create something that makes a difference.
A = Ancestry
Forecast a time into the future where the third generation distant from you are now young adults.
What do they know about you? How has your life experience and the many things that you’ve learned
helped them? Do they even know who you are? Consider creating an autobiography, a memoir, or
learnings diary. What about a family library? Things like art, gifts, family crests, signets, rings, or other
family tokens have to be thought about and created. Plan to have an impact into the distant future.
C = Communication
How can you better communicate during your lifetime and after your lifetime? Journals, family
histories, traditions (those that build and strengthen), key learnings revealed at specific important
times. Think about ways to teach, to lift and to inspire both during your lifetime and after your lifetime.
Y = Yield
People working in the agriculture industry spend a great deal of time tracking and monitoring yield.
Small changes can often have an incredible impact on the value of a harvest over time. Think about
what you are planting and what you expect to yield. A person should not plant carrots and expect
corn. Consider also the time value of money structure with compounding investment over time.
Perhaps your foundation doesn’t grant an award for 50 years – now what has that portfolio grown to
and what could it do? Think about yield and outcome in your planning.