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Get Your Legacy In Order in 2016

As the calendar flips from 2015 to 2016, it’s a great time to begin thinking about getting your legacy in order in the New Year.

Notice that I said legacy and not estate planning.

Estate planning is part of the equation. No doubt for some the issue of naming trustees, dealing with taxes and similar issues are all important. But estate planning is only one issue.

A legacy plan is the broader and bigger discussion of family legacy. It involves fundamentally the question of what values will I pass on to future generations and how will I practically accomplish that values transfer.

That navigation of values transfer involves an assessment of your own life—am I ready to make that change? Can I make the investment of time in that issue? It also involves an assessment of children, and grandchildren. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Are they thriving? Can I help them thrive? Would financial wealth be a detriment or helpful? Are their other forms of wealth I should be passing on to them?

Like any navigation, charting the course involves the proper compass settings. What is the direction I’ve laid out for my family? Is it merely a general notion of “set sail for yourself?” Or is it something more?

In my own family, I’m working on this. I want my kids to understand the value of our own story. We started out in a rough place. And we’ve got stories of their grandfather that are not all flattering. But it’s our story, and I believe God has put us on a trajectory. We want to create wealth for future generations.

And that “wealth” is beyond financial. I hope that our wealth will be in our stories, our values, our families who are thriving.

So as you consider you 2016, consider your legacy plan—something that will outlast yourself for generations to come.

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the National Christian Foundation Heartland. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: www.givingitallawaybook.com. » Learn More

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