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4 Ways to Start Your Legacy of Giving Forward

Posted by John Berka on

Everyone thinks about his or her legacy.  Questions pop into your mind. What was passed along to me? What will I pass along?  How will I secure the future of my family? What impact can I make and how? Will it make any difference?

There is substantive impact you can make – and that’s a good thing for you and those you choose to help. The concept takes fruition when it is framed around the idea of “giving forward” - contributing ahead for the better good of your loved ones and the causes you most value.

Steps to prepare for this journey may seem small and even inconsequential today. But remember, it is not how strong you start but how you finish. And finishing with a flourish requires several things. A vision of how you will deploy your assets to meet the needs of others and a clear-cut plan to get you there.

Simply put, the foundation of a “giving forward” plan requires diligence around a combination of these four steps:

  1. Prepare a will: This is the most basic step of all and a legal necessity to allocate your assets, family heirlooms, distribute your possessions according to your wishes. Your Will should evolve over time as your life stage, career and wealth accumulation change.
  2. Secure Powers of Attorney: This is another series of important legal documents that assign very critical decisions to others regarding your health, finances and real estate in the event you become incapacitated. They are easy to secure and relatively inexpensive to execute. These documents should be prepared for all adult members of your family.
  3. Set-up a trust: This is not always necessary and certain factors like real estate investments or other significant investments are triggers that may require a trust. They are more costly and require regular maintenance and reporting to the trustees you designate.
  4. Assign Beneficiaries: Another must do. For any insurance policy either through work or a personal policy, make sure you identify your primary and secondary beneficiaries. This is true for pension plans, 401ks and the like.

These are 4 important financial / legal steps that will create a strong and purposeful base for your future and help secure your legacy. Regardless where you are in this process, constant updates and refreshes will be necessary to make maintain relevance and accuracy.

Trinity Lutheran Foundation has a lot of knowledge on this subject. In fact, TRF is conducting a Wills, Trust, Powers of Attorney Workshop, Feb 4,  to share the basics and provide everyone who attends free notarized Powers of Attorney for medical, financial and real estate. Leasa Baugher, a local Wills & Trust attorney will lead this workshop.  Leasa will offer one free consultative follow-up appointment for attendees about establishing / updating wills and/or trusts.

Here are the details:

Wills, Trust, Powers of Attorney Workshop

Sponsor: Trinity Roselle Foundation

When: Saturday, February 4, 9-noon

Guest Speaker: Leasa Baugher, Wills & Trust Attorney

Where: Family Life Center, Trinity Lutheran Church, Roselle

Who: Adults 25+ with or without families

Food & Beverage: Continental Breakfast Provided

Contact: Reach out to Ray Pagels @ (847) 226-2262 or

Make a reservation to attend now as space is limited. We expect to reach capacity for this event

** All who register before Feb 1 will get a personalized, notarized powers of attorney for medical, financial and real estate.

Tags: trusts, wills, powers of attorney, legacy plans, giving foward