By Jim Sprout
Over the last few years, each of our associates has attempted to refine and improve the value and service that we provide to our clients, whom we so highly respect. Some have recently received certification in life and retirement planning while others have earned professional designations or taken on new responsibilities and community involvement. It is a great team to be associated with and I am grateful. In essence, our goal is to help our clients make their planning more purposeful. As a part of this process, we will be writing short “conversations” on various life planning concepts and conducting periodic educational workshops along the theme of “Connecting Generations.” I truly hope you find these letters encouraging and would welcome your feedback.
Conversations for a lifetime
We believe more purposeful planning can help connect generations and promote harmony during life changing events. We are passionate about helping our clients realize their hopes and dreams for themselves, their families, the community and any charitable interests they might have. Understanding your goals and addressing, planning and managing them with purpose can result in the creation of a meaningful and impactful legacy for generations to come.
Most people think of legacy in reference to their estate or charitable plan. Possibly, a better and more complete definition includes not only your estate and financial plan but also your legacy as your life story, relationships and hopes for your family and future generations. Your story is rich in meaning, encompassing your experiences, values, successes and failures, and life lessons.
Sometimes when discussing the idea of legacy with a client or friend they respond, “Who cares about my story, there is not much to tell and it’s not interesting.” We follow with the question, “Looking back over your life and your accomplishments, relationships and experiences, what is most meaningful to you?” The answers vary but always include emotional and intimate stories, those they are proud of and that have positively impacted their life and the lives of others. Telling your story, and reflecting on the people and influences that have shaped it, leaves a legacy for your family members and makes your planning more purposeful. Communicating and documenting the life you’ve created and the experiences that made it fulfilling provides a connectedness that strengthens family dynamics and helps give purpose and importance to the most valued objectives of harmony and unity as a future support system for the next generation. Your life story adds a richness and meaningful dimension to your planning and family legacy.
Our team is available to help you with this experience through a guided autobiography that results in a Life Story Video and a Family Heritage Statement. This is a customized process unique to each family. Creating a Legacy Letter, much like an ethical will, encapsulates not only your values and wishes but also the purpose behind your planning. This document, when placed with your other important papers such as your will and trusts, brings significance as well as an explanation to the thought process behind your decisions.
Ideally, a next step for some families to bring this all together could be to schedule a family meeting where your estate and financial plan and life story are shared in a meaningful way.
Think about the ways your planning could be more purposeful and let us know if you would like more information or for us to follow up with you on these concepts.