Planning and Sharing Your Legacy For Future Generations
In honor of “What Will Be Your Legacy” month this August, we will talk about how to plan and share your legacy for future generations. This is a great time to reflect on what you have, how you will protect it, and how you will share it with those you love, even after you’re gone. So, what is a legacy? This is anything that has been handed down from the past from an ancestor or predecessor. This can be something tangible, such as money or property, or it can be intangible, whereby you pass on what you have learned over your lifetime or your values.
Who Else Will Share Your Legacy if You Don’t?
Your legacy is uniquely yours. No one else will have quite the same one. That said, no one will know about the details of your legacy if you don’t take action to share it. Your legacy is the story of your life. Consider all the tips, wisdom, personal lessons, and knowledge you want to pass on, whether that’s about your family history, old photos and possessions, or your favorite recipes, points out Everplans.
You can preserve your legacy on video, in a journal, on the computer, or with any other medium that fits your personality and how you want to tell your story. Here are some tips.
- Write out your thoughts: Get a journal and just start writing to your family and friends. You can include general bits of wisdom, or you can parcel them out to different people as needed. Here you will share your life lessons and important stories you want to live on after you are gone. Tell at least one person where you have kept this journal or which file it’s on so they can access it after you pass.
- Talk about possessions and keepsakes: Go into detail about the history behind special events, but also use this time to discuss or clarify decisions you made in your will. Perhaps there’s someone who didn’t make it into your will but whom you would like to leave a special memento.
- Revamp your photo albums: With so many digital photos these days, it’s tough to envision how people will pass those photos down to their future generations. This is why actual photographs are so precious. Take the time to preserve them. Go through your old albums and write down who’s who in each photo and what event the photo captured. Print neatly so anyone can read what you’re trying to say. Concentrate on the most important albums first, such as your wedding album or the birth of your children.
- Be descriptive: When writing about events, people, and places, try to be as descriptive as possible so future generations can feel what you felt and see what you saw, says AARP. Let’s say your central theme is travel. Use language that thoroughly describes the tastes, smells, sights, and sounds of the place. Tell them how the food tasted or a particular meal you really loved. What season was it? What were you wearing? What did you learn from the experience?
- Write every day: Commit to writing about your legacy every single day. You don’t have to crank out a ton of pages every day. Just be consistent. Start off free-writing, just jotting down what comes into your head. If you’re using a computer, you can go back to edit it, hone it, and polish it later.
- Craft legacy letters: Get personal by writing letters to each member of your family. Tell them why you love them, explore stories that have impacted you about them, and leave anecdotes that only that person could know about. This is your chance to tell each person what they mean to you and why.
- Get practical: A big part of your legacy is the tangible assets that you’ll leave behind. Take the time to square away your will, powers of attorney and healthcare proxies so your estate is protected after you die. Talk to an estate planning lawyer to get this settled before you get ill or become incapacitated.
- Live your legacy: You still have time left to share your wisdom with your loved one. Don’t squander it. Use every moment as a teachable moment. Because there really is no better legacy than a life well lived.
In the end, everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
During hospice, many families find this to be a bonding time as they share in the legacy their loved one is leaving behind. We strive to make our hospice program as welcoming, peaceful, and collaborative as possible. To learn more, contact us at 888-978-1306.