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Bob Dylan builds on his legacy: have you protected yours?

The 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature was bestowed upon none other than music great, American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan. To quote, Dylan was granted the famed and coveted award "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Mr. Dylan has had an expansive career, spanning over half a century and still thriving. To date, the living legend has pulled in some of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry. Some of these include: 12 Grammy awards, an Academy award, a Golden Globe and most recently, the aforementioned Nobel Prize for Literature.

Bob was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1988 and has received many other awards throughout the course of his successful career.

What legacy are you leaving your children?

Bob Dylan epitomizes building on a legacy that will be unforgettable for generations to come. You don't have to be a mega star like Mr. Dylan, however, to leave a legacy behind for your family to continue building on when you're gone. Whether it's a business, smart investments that have been made during your career or leaving behind a home for your children, planning for the future is imperative.

Estate planning takes thorough know-how to ensure that you are protecting your assets, your estate and what will eventually be the legacy that you are leaving behind for your family. Thus, having an attorney on your side who understands the ins and outs of estate law is important.

Having a professional, experienced and knowledgeable estate lawyer will be key in helping you choose the right tools to protect your legacy. This might include:

  • A will that lays out a clear plan for "who gets what." You can designate which child receives certain property, if children are to share ownership, guardianship designations for minor children, charitable donations, etc.
  • A trust that helps set specific parameters for distributions, allows for continued growth of assets and disbursement of income - like a trust that allows you to pass the enjoyment of vacation property to your kids without the burden of property taxes or maintenance costs.
  • Updating your plan to ensure that it includes any assets you have added to your estate, corresponds with recent changes in your life or reflects any changes to or new laws.

Your attorney will suggest the best way to proceed to protect your assets based on what they are, where they are located and what your goals are for those assets. Because estate and other laws vary from state to state, you will want to make sure that your plan complies with any applicable laws for assets located in another state.

If you don't have a rock-solid plan of action in place for your estate before your death, you could wind up with unintended results or put your property at risk. Let your estate attorney be your guide so that you - like Bob Dylan - can leave behind the legacy you want for your family.

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