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TALES FROM THE CHESTNUT TREE Legacy Planning - How Do You Want to Be Remembered? One of the unfortunate facets of my profession is dealing with and

Legacy Planning is done usually at the same time as other legal documents:

helping folks who have suffered the loss of a loved one during their

will, powers of attorney, living will and other legal documents your legal

lifetime. No matter how much you prepare for the loss, you are never

advisor determines in your best interest. Keep an open mind, and an open

prepared, and the follow through is devastating. Hopefully the dearly

heart. We tend to leave our estate to our kids, but you can leave 90% to your

departed had taken the time to plan for their time of departure, having

kids and help others with the remaining 10%, or any combination you choose.

done their financial and estate planning well in advance. However, I frequent-

Be kind, be legal, and think outside the box when you do your planning.

ly see the opposite: proper estate planning was not done, settling the estate

Wouldn’t it be nice to be remembered for the kind things you’ve done? That’s

is a mess with fights and differences of opinion throughout the family, leading

Legacy Planning- the planning of your personal legacy.

to disagreements that often split families apart. It all could have been avoided if the departed had done his legal documents to determine in an organized

Neal A. Deutsch is a Certified Financial Planner TM & Registered Securities

fashion who and what should and would be the recipients of his hard-earned

Principal, offering securities through First Allied Securities, Inc., member FINRA/

assets. Oftentimes I hear “I don’t have enough to do estate planning.” My

SIPC. Neal is President of Chestnut Investment Group in Suffern, NY and Gilbert,

reply is simple: “If you have a dollar, you have an estate. Who do you want to get it when you’re gone?” Like most people, you don’t realize how much of an impact you have made on others, during your lifetime and once you’re gone. An act of kindness goes a long way for a long time. Take your closet for example: it’s probably stuffed with clothes you’ve not worn in years, yet there are people who desperately need those same clothes. While the tax deduction may or may not be applicable to you, helping others in need is far more important than the memories. They never leave you regardless of the disposition of the articles. Legacy Planning is the act of planning how you choose your wealth to be distributed or utilized by others once you are gone. It’s a plan to manage your wealth while you are alive, with a clear plan or path to how your wealth is to be distributed to the best advantage in your eyes. Certainly, the first utilization of your wealth is for you to have a safe and secure retirement. The plan, however, is to determine how you would like it distributed after you’re done with it. With proper planning, you can help multiple people with the same dollars. Pass it through to multiple generations. Help an entity with the principle eventually going to your kids or grandkids. The possibilities are endless: I always say if it’s legal and it’s kind, go for it! It’s not always about money and stuff: I’ve done planning where birthday cards and birthday presents continued long after the grantor was gone. You can create a scholarship for your alma mater with as little as a thousand dollars. Legacy planning creates a legacy for you to be remembered for the loving, giving and kind person you tried to be, and would like to be remembered for. I see legacy planning as a long-term fun plan…you are limited only by your imagination and your desire to help others. The key here is to do your planning when you are are alive, of sound mind, and in a place to help others.

AZ helping people with financial planning since 1984. Please feel free to call Neal at (800) 358-0016 or email him with your questions at Visit his website at

Profile for Arlene Levine

Rivertown Magazine February 2019  

Rivertown Magazine February 2019