Who Should Be Your Beneficiary?

Who Should Be Your Beneficiary?

A recent New York Times article (Article Here) addresses an increasing problem for Americans: Choosing the person or entity who should be your beneficiary. For many adults without children, grandchildren or other close relatives, the issue of their beneficiary must be closely considered. As families opt to not have children, this issue may become increasingly common.

What is your Legacy?

The choice in beneficiary can be closely linked to the question of legacy. What is the legacy you wish to leave after you pass? What do you wish to be remembered for? As the NYT article notes, questions could include the following:

  • Who do I owe my success to?
  • What values do I want to reflect?
  • How do I want to pay back the organizations I believe in?

Other considerations could include:

  • What organizations have you actively been involved with?
  • What contributions have you made in the past?
  • What causes would you wish to further?

How can you easily make a charitable contribution if you are interested in doing so?

  • Make an outright monetary gift in your will or living trust: Specifying a dollar figure will make it easier to carry out your wishes
  • Donate retirement assets: Designated a charitable organization as your beneficiary will allow them to receive the full benefit of your retirement assets. As a tax free organization they will receive 100% of the benefit of your retirement assets.
  • Make a split-interest gift: With some additional planning, a trust can be created to allow both a charity and others to benefit from your gift.

As succinctly stated in a Forbes article, “You’re building a legacy—like it or not—regardless of your age, sphere of influence or net worth.  Every personal interaction, every email, every tweet, like or post adds to your body of work that will reverberate generationally through friends, family, co-workers and associates.” (Article Here)

Non-Asset Legacy

Your legacy is not limited to your assets. One simple step you can take is to include a simple (and free) annual letter to your loved ones and other important individuals. These letters can be kept with your other important planning documents and can provide a heartfelt means for you to convey your feelings and thoughts.  These letters may also be shared at other life moments, graduations, weddings or other special occasions.

At Estrada-Legal, PC, we believe your family is your most important assets. Please contact us at 602 635-7414 for your estate planning needs.