When you think about those loved ones who’ve passed away, you probably don’t think very much—or even at all—about the “things” they’ve left you. And when they do leave something behind, what you likely cherish most about the object are the memories and feelings it evokes, not the thing itself.
My most treasured memento my late grandmother left me wasn't anything valuable in terms of monetary value--it was just a random voicemail on my cellphone. Her message said, "Hi my grandson. This is Grammy . . . I love you. Bye!"
Following her death, I loved listening to that message to hear her voice. Of all the things she left behind, that voicemail was what I cherished most.
Until one day, I went to listen to the message and discovered it had been erased—and her voice was lost forever. I still recall that day as one of my worst ever, yet like most painful events, it taught me an important lesson.
Losing that voicemail ultimately motivated me to include a legacy interview into my family-centered model of estate planning. This feature, which is included in every plan I create, allows you to preserve and pass on something that’s inherently more valuable than any tangible asset you might leave your loved ones.
Preserving your intangible assets
I recognize that estate planning isn’t just about preserving and passing on your financial wealth and property when you die. When done right, planning allows you to share your family’s stories, values, and life lessons, so your legacy carries on long after you—and your money—are gone.
The legacy interview is a process that’s designed to not only ensure these intangible assets never get lost but also to make the process of documenting them as easy and convenient as possible. In this process, I guide you to create a customized recording in which you share your most insightful memories and life lessons, not just for your children and grandchildren, but for generations to come. My favorite part about this process is that most of my clients tell me that going through it helps them surface things they would have never thought about regarding how they want to parent differently or things they want to share now, during life.
To help inspire you, I’ve developed a series of helpful questions and prompts, which makes the process not only easy but enjoyable. And this isn’t something you have to do on your own, which you’d probably never get around to doing, despite your best intentions. Instead, this is something I include as an integral part of my planning services—and it’s included at no extra charge with each plan I create.
In the end, your family’s most precious wealth is not money, but the memories you make, the values you instill, and the lessons you hand down. And left to chance, these assets are likely to be lost forever just like my grandmother's voicemail.
Leave a lasting legacy
My customized estate planning services will preserve and pass on not just your financial wealth, but your most treasured family values as well. Schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session today, so we can discuss what kind of assets you have, what matters most to you, and what you want to leave behind.
This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate and legal life planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. I don’t just draft documents; I ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why I offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting my office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
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