I recently sat down with my wife and son, at their urging, to watch Disney’s animated movie, “Coco.” In a concise recap, the movie is about a young Mexican boy who is trying to understand why his family has alienated his deceased great-grandfather, especially on the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that honors family members who passed on.
In typical Disney fashion, they put a nice spin on the story and, while their message of redemption plays well, I found myself thinking of a different message.
You see, in the movie we learn about the spirit world and how memory play a big part in a person’s legacy. When people in the spirit world are completely forgotten by their family in the living world, their spirit can no longer exist – it’s essentially your final passing. This reminded me of legacy planning.
Many advisors instruct their retired clients to allow their life insurance to lapse, except for a small amount for final expenses. They say, “Your children are grown, your home is paid for, you don’t need life insurance.” While I have always found this to be a bit cynical, watching “Coco” helped bring the concept into clarity.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if, on your grandsons 25th birthday, you could provide him with a check for $20,000? And what if he received a check for the next 10 years, along with a handwritten note from you telling him how much he means to you? And, as he receives that check, wouldn’t it be wonderful if he could recall a favorite memory or two that you shared with him?
And, if he used that money to put a down payment on a home, or establish a college fund for his new baby, you would essentially be providing his family with a financial head start that maybe you didn’t have but wanted for him.
And, what if all of this could happen many years after you had passed away? Wait, what?! Yes, you can leave a legacy to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews or a favorite charity many years after you are gone. That is the power of life insurance.
Like the characters in “Coco,” your clients want to remembered long after they leave this world. To all my advisor friends out there, please don’t let this movie’s message go to waste. Help your clients, today, to create their legacy for years to come.
The impact of Sept. 11, 2001, is far-reaching and still being felt by many families today. If you or your clients are looking for ways to support those affected by the wars on terror, the Johnny Michael Spann Patriot Trusts Act created a unique option. Named for a CIA officer who was the first American to give his life for his country in the war on terrorism, the Patriot Trusts Act helps facilitate the flow of private money to the widows and orphans of American servicemen, CIA officers, FBI agents and other federal employees who have given their lives during wars on international terrorism after Sept. 11, 2001.
This is separate from Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, which was established by the federal government to provide compensation to any individual (or their family) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of Sept. 11, 2001, or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes.
However, the Sept. 11 Fund doesn’t assist the families of military or government personnel who have been killed while fighting against terrorists in the wars that followed. The Johnny Michael Spann Patriot Trusts Act is unique because it not only created support for a different group of people impacted by Sept. 11, but it also created the option to have multiple funds – not just one – that supports the flow of money to these victims. Any charitable corporation, fund, foundation or trust that meets all applicable requirements under the law concerning charitable entities, and meets the requirements established in the act, is eligible to characterize itself as a Johnny Michael Spann Patriot Trust. Contributions to such a trust will be tax deductible.
Put It In Practice: If you or your clients want to create a lasting legacy of support for our military, specifically those impacted by the war or terror, consider creating or giving to a Johnny Michael Spann Patriot Trust.
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