When you are planning your estate, the first thing you are going to do is take inventory of your assets and evaluate what it is that you have of value to pass along. You may have real property, cash assets, stocks and other securities, a business and any number of personal possessions that will all be a part of your legacy, and these are things that your loved ones will remember you by. Indeed, when you can leave behind things of value it can give you a warm feeling as you take stock of your accomplishments and the ultimate culmination of your life’s work.
Now take a moment to imagine a time in the future when a great-grandchild of yours asks her parents about a painting that hangs on the wall. They tell her that it belonged to her great-grandmother and that she left it to the family after she passed away. The young one then quizzically asks her parents this question: “What was my great-grandmother like?”
How can they answer that question with any degree of accuracy? The essence of a person is ineffable, and the value of a human being’s life path is priceless. If you could impart the things that you learned from the experiences that you have had throughout your life to your loved ones, you would probably feel as though you had given them the finest gift of all. But how could you possibly do that?
One way would be to share your memoirs with your family as part of your estate. Providing your loved ones with a connection to the past is part of your legacy, and when you pass along an account of your own personal path you will invariably touch on things that you remember from your own childhood. Not only will that great-granddaughter of yours get to know what her great-grandmother was like, she’ll also get a glimpse at her great-grandmother’s grandmother.
Consider leaving behind an account of your memories as part of your estate. Each of us has a story to tell, and in so doing we can lend our shoulders for future generations to stand on.