Important legacy planning considerations

The concept of legacy planning can mean many things to many people. Today we’ll shed some light on some of the less discussed items that are more prevalent in this day and age, but not often discussed.

1. Journal about yourself.

Have you ever wondered what your parents were like? How about your grand-parents?  Great-grandparents? As time stretches back, memories fade. Consider journaling about yourself and family values. It can be a gift that can last for generations. With digital formats and cloud back-up, your written legacy is capable of lasting generations.

2. Where do the cloud things go?

Speaking of cloud backup. Have you ever wondered where all of your online accounts go once you pass? Think of all of those songs and movies that you bought and pictures you have backed up. Our digital lives are only getting bigger, make sure you account for it in your planning. Many services allow for succession plans to be implemented.

3. Start them young!

Financial literacy can serve as a solid foundation to continue a legacy. By developing good financial habits young (or simply avoiding the bad ones) it sets the stage for a strong start into adulthood. As the father of three teen/tween girls, I was surprised to find account types that were geared toward teens that allowed for electronic banking and investing with parent oversight.  

4. What to do about all the stuff?

Do you have a unique collection? If so, consider what may come of it upon your passing if your heirs do not share in that passion. My father ran into this with his parents. They were very into antiques and coin collecting, which he had no idea what to do with. Lucky for him a long-time friend of his parents came to his aid to help him sort through the collections. He was able to keep what he wanted and then sell the rest without being taken for a ride. If this sounds like you or a loved one, consider leaving a trusted resource for your heirs with your estate documents (or outright instructions if you wish) that can help reduce stress while honoring your family’s wishes.

5. Don’t forget about Fido!

With pet ownership on the rise, don’t forget to account for who you would want to care for your furry (or not so furry) friends after you pass. More importantly, be sure to talk with that person about it before putting their name down. As the owner of four dogs, this was an important step in our personal planning.

6. Remember to review your plan.

Estate and Legacy planning can be a chore that can sit on the shelf for decades if you’re not careful. I would encourage you to dust off your plan every few years and review it — life events, law changes (especially tax law) and evolutions in technology are good prompts to keep things updated.

The practice of legacy planning can be difficult, having to account for all the different aspects of one’s life and where the pieces will fall is humbling. Having recently been through the process personally, I was reminded why it’s important when my wife expressed relief walking out of the office knowing things were covered, just in case. As times change and evolve, remember to stay current with all aspects of your planning to pass on your full legacy.

Headshot of Tim Witham, CFP

Tim Witham, CFP

Senior Wealth Advisor

Cassady Schiller CPAs & Advisors


About the Goering Center for Family & Private Business

Established in 1989, the Goering Center serves more than 400 member companies, making it North America’s largest university-based educational non-profit center for family and private businesses. The Center’s mission is to nurture and educate family and private businesses to drive a vibrant economy. Affiliation with the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati provides access to a vast resource of business programming and expertise. Goering Center members receive real-world insights that enlighten, strengthen and prolong family and private business success. For more information on the Center, participation and membership visit

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