You may have seen a retired couple driving in front of you at some point in your life with a bumper sticker on the back of their car saying something to the effect of “We are busy spending our children’s inheritances.” This bumper sticker explains the ideology of some people when they are planning for the future.
They may engage in retirement planning so that they feel confident that they have the financial resources that they need to stop working at some point and enjoy their spare time. But they don’t have any specific goals with regard to what they want to pass on to their children. If something is left over, that’s great, but if not, so be it.
How you want to plan for the future is up to you, but there are others who take a different approach. You may recognize that the passing of your estate to your loved ones will be your final act of giving. When you look at the list of people that you want to include, you may have specific things that you would like to do for each of them. A lot of people do some soul-searching during this time and come to the conclusion that they would like to give something to charitable causes as well.
When you have estate planning goals you have to think holistically as you are handling your finances throughout your life. Depending on the extent of your wealth you may need to make some hard choices to be able to leave behind a suitable legacy while having the resources that you need to enjoy your retirement years.
The best way to go about it is to devise a comprehensive plan with all of your goals in mind, and the sooner you get started the more likely it is that you will reach these goals. The wise course of action is to discuss the matter with an experienced estate planning attorney who will work with you to create a long-term financial plan that enables you to accomplish all of your objectives.