Defining your legacy

By Charles Stanley & Co

There comes a point in our lives when we start to think about what impact we have made or could make on our world.

Published in Norfolk Director magazine, Summer|Autumn 2022
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Financial Planning & Investments: Charles Stanley & Co

For all the rushing around, worrying, learning, business building and risk taking: what was it all for? Are we likely to leave the world in a better place than we found it?

Legacy is often much deeper in meaning than the physical act of a beneficiary receiving assets from a deceased person. So, where should you start when thinking about your own legacy?

What is important to you?

This is a big question, so here are some things to ask yourself for inspiration: 

  • Does your family need financial security that you could provide?
  • What causes close to your heart would you like to support?
  • What has made a significant impact on your life? Education, the support of a mentor, financial assistance or grants, or something different? 
  • How have others helped you in a way that you can replicate? For example, you might recall when you were granted a university scholarship. Did that change your life? Would you like to give others that same chance? Did a charity help you in a time of need?

Is control important to you? 

When thinking about your legacy, you can be specific or general. For example, if you leave your wealth in a trust or some other vehicle, should your trustees be mindful of an overall theme or principle(s) to guide their thinking?

In the case of grandchildren’s education or advancing money to start a family business, should that be a loan (and therefore, the family wealth is recycled), or could it be a gift? What is not, in your eyes, appropriate use of the funds? 

If control is important to you, perhaps a direct gift in your will, or a gift made in your lifetime to a specific cause, project, or beneficiary might be more attractive?

Who do you want to impact? 

Sometimes targeting a specific problem isn’t appropriate. Instead, the focus might be on a group of people, like disadvantaged children. Do you help them with grants for businesses, finance for a children’s hospital, or scholarships? What about food banks or shelters? All are related to the same group of people but not necessarily the same underlying cause.

This topic is quite broad and can be overwhelming. Communication between family members and those close to you will help. At the core lies the principle that wealth can be a great enabler. Your decision to make is simply what do you want to enable?

The value of investments, and any income derived from them, can fall as well as rise. Investors may get back less than originally invested. The information in this article is based on our understanding of UK Legislation, Taxation and HMRC guidance, all of which are subject to change. The tax treatment of pensions depends on individual circumstances and is subject to change in future. Charles Stanley & Co. Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Contact our Norwich team to find out how Charles Stanley could help you create a more secure financial future.

T: 01603 856 932
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