When people think of legacy planning, often they initially think in terms of money and other assets that they will pass along to their children and grandchildren. However, when families reflect on what is most important to them, it’s typically not about the money. It’s about values. It’s about priorities. It’s about relationships. It’s about how to pass on the things that truly matter to the next generation.
Philanthropy is a wonderful tool that many families have discovered to help them pass on to their children and grandchildren these things that truly matter. Here are some questions to guide your family conversations:
- What are the opportunities that money provides?
- What are the responsibilities?
- What do you think makes a person “wealthy”? (Hint: It’s not just money.)
- What does it mean to you to be a part of our family?
- What family values do we share? Are there certain values that rise to the top?
- How would you describe the generosity legacy that our family has created? What are some common themes?
- Are the organizations we, as your parents (or grandparents), have supported through the years the types of organizations or causes that you feel connected to? Why or why not?
- What kind of world do you want to grow up in? What issues are important to you?
- What do you hope you might accomplish through your generosity? Does that look the same or different than the goals we have as your parents (or grandparents)?
- How will you track how your donation was used and/or how the organization is accomplishing its work?
By being intentional with your family, you can create a legacy of generosity to impact future generations. You can demonstrate that the best legacy you can leave for your family is more than just your money.