The Life and Legacy of Happy Memories


When you think about loved ones who’ve passed away, you probably don’t think very much about the “things” they’ve left you. Instead, you likely cherish the values and experiences you shared with them. And when they do leave a material item behind, what you likely cherish most about the object they left are the memories and feelings the item evokes, not the thing itself. 

I remember when my husband passed away one of the most treasured memories I had of him wasn’t something he left me; it wasn’t something even intended to be special—it was some random voicemails on my cellphone. The voicemail messages weren’t meant to be anything special, meaningful, or sentimental when they were left for me.

They were simple everyday messages. Messages that said, “Hey Babe, it’s me. Call me back. I love you!” 

Following his death, I must have listened to his saved messages a thousand times. I loved listening to his messages; just to hear his voice again. Of all the things he left behind, those voicemails were a lifeline for me for quite some time; a way to look back and remember the man I loved and did not want to forget. 

I learned many lessons from the death of my husband; some of those lessons are the type of lessons that no one wants to learn. However, learn them I did. And those voicemails and other memories helped me walk through one of the most difficult times of my life.

One of the lessons I learned, that was life-giving, was that preserving the “intangible” memories and values through stories, and life lessons are so valuable. In fact, those “intangible” memories consistently are at the top of the list of things people want to pass on. Why? Because our stories help connect us to where we came from.

In the “old days,” life’s lessons could only be passed along orally or one on one, by hand. And too often, by the time younger generations care about listening to life lessons and stories, the older generations were gone or their memories have faded. But technology has changed that. Today, technology makes preserving our family values easier than ever. Photographs, videos, email, and social media can inform future generations and offer sentimental value in ways you may not have even considered. 

Although you may have thought about how estate planning protects and passes on your financial wealth and other tangible assets when you die, you may have not considered how estate planning can pass on so much more. When done right, estate planning supports passing down the most precious assets of all—your life stories, lessons, insights, and values—and doing so intentionally. That’s why we call it Life & Legacy Planning, not just estate planning. 

My favorite part about this process is that most of our clients tell us that going through their life stories and lessons helps rekindle moments and memories they would otherwise not share with their loved ones. Indeed, this process can enrich your family with something far more valuable than any tangible asset you might leave, and instead leave behind a lasting legacy of love. 

Life & Legacy Planning 

In the end, your family’s most precious wealth is not money, but the memories made, the values instilled, and the lessons you hand down. If left to chance, these assets are likely to be lost forever.

To protect and preserve your family’s tangible wealth and other assets, you can create a comprehensive estate plan. When you think about it, “estate planning” is really a misnomer. When you think to leave life stories and lessons it helps you plan for not only a life you love but also a legacy worth leaving-which is why we call it Life & Legacy Planning. 

Your Life & Legacy Plan goes far beyond simply creating legal documents. We can also help you develop your legacy; a legacy that not only lasts for your lifetime but for the lifetime of your children and their children. And this all starts with our Family Wealth Planning Session. If you’d like to learn more about leaving a legacy contact us today to schedule an appointment.


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