Welcome to Straight Talk. We at Legacy Legal appreciate your enjoyment of our weekly insights on Mastering the Legacy Hierarchy ™, Building a Legendary Future and Creating Lasting Wealth. We hope you enjoyed the last 6 weeks of material on how to improve sales for your business. We will devote the next 5 weeks in looking at how to do more to protect your family and your business.

THE Legacy Hierarchy™

Once we have made sure that we are making ends meet we have the opportunity of taking care of our security needs for our family and our business. I believe most of business that goes on between people falls into this stage of the Legacy Hierarchy ™. Buying a home, having a car insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, (notice a pattern here) financial management of your investments, preparing an estate plan and so forth. We finished a module on getting more sales for your business. More sales means ultimately security which is why I think there are so many companies pitching their products or services in this arena. Same thing with financial advisors. Become more secure so you can have the freedom to do what you want?

The security stage of the Legacy Hierarchy ™ is invaluable because without it the ability to accomplish the other stages will be more challenging. Keep in mind that the Legacy Hierarchy ™ model is not a constant. It is a continuum and people are always moving up and down and through the different stages at different times and points in their life. This week we will take a look at the security of having an estate plan and what that represents.

My two brothers and I were fortunate as kids. Our parents provided us with many opportunities one of which was skiing. The three of us took the gondola high to the top of the Austrian Alps. It was a magnificent view to the town miles below. The snowfall was light but the slopes were well groomed and we started skiing down. Turn after turn after turn after turn.

We came to a stop to take a rest. All of sudden a fog descended. But not just any fog. It was a thick, enveloping, suffocating fog. We couldn’t see 2 feet in front of our faces. We had been in these situations many times before but on familiar slopes in places we knew well. Here high atop a mountain in the Austrian Alps we stood on a precipice. Which way do we turn? What direction do we go? Do we go left? Do we go right? Do we go forward. Can’t really go backward if you know what I mean. Do we stand still. We chose to wait.

What happened next was strange, inexplicable. 3 figures came out of the fog and whooooosssheed by us down and to the right. Whether it was 3 angels or 3 members of the Austrian ski team they showed us the way. The fog lifted enough for us to see.

Standing on a precipice. Off to the left about 20 feet three brothers would have plunged off a mountain cliff thousands of feet below. Down and to the right we continued on our incredible ski adventure down the Austrian Alps.

We stand on a precipice of a crises. A crises of wealth and legacy. Not just of money but of values, beliefs and traditions. Whether we like it or not each of us will leave some type of legacy. The only question is whether it will be one we like and one of our own choosing.

Families being ripped apart. Imagine your mother has died. You are in the mortuary. There she is lying peacefully. You walk by and a flood of memories and emotions fill you head. Mother’s day. Birthdays. Family outings. Dinner around the holiday table. The service ends. The family goes to mom’s home for the reception. You are in a haze. Going from room to room. Then you notice the jewelry is gone. Where did it go. Who took it. Was it your sister. She always thought she was the best.

The traditional approach to wealth and legacy planning isn’t working because it emphasizes technique over touch. It looks at plans for when we are gone rather than the plan for today. People plan a vacation, they plan to buy a home or they plan to have a child but planning for wealth and legacy, they would rather listen to fingernails scraping on a chalkboard. Without a plan there is fail. Family anger in lawsuits. Without a plan there is fail. Financial abundance is lost. Without a plan there is failure. Family achievement is lacking undermining real enrichment.

The traditional approach focuses on wealth distributions based on age rather than merit. 1//3 at age 25, ½ at age 30 and the rest at age 35. For those of you who don’t think this is a problem let me ask you a question. How many of you would give 200k to your 25 year old? If you wouldn’t do it today why would you do it when you are gone.

The traditional approach results in statistics like 80% of people who spend their inheritance and 70% of those do so within the first 2 years. That means that over 50% of people are right back to where they started in 2 years having learning nothing. It leads to proverbial statements like shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves where the first generation makes the money, the second generation maintains it and the third generation blows it forcing the fourth generation to start all over again.

My brothers and I are close but disconnected. What I mean by that is that we talk during holidays, we call for birthdays, but each of us has very independent lives. You would think that a lawyer, a doctor and a psychologist could come together and create a family legacy. I believe the reason that hasn’t happened is because we were educated in traditional thinking. Preparing money to go to the family.

We need a new approach in preparing estate plans. We need to prepare families for the responsibility of wealth. There are two keys in preparing families for the responsibility of wealth. Next week, I will reveal these two keys. Stay Tuned.

Our vision is to enhance the way people think and talk about wealth not only in money, but in values, beliefs and traditions. Our mission is guiding people in Mastering the 5 Stages of Wealth. Survival to make ends meet; Security for themselves and their family; Affluence in enjoying the fruits and benefits of the hard work put in to make money; Influencing others through clarity of purpose and vision; and Legacy of how you will be remembered and the impact and difference you can make in the world.

Thank you for being a part of our Straight Talk community. What stage of wealth are you in? What can you do to get to the next Stage?

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