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3 Steps to Packaging Your Legacy to Pass it On

I have often stated that “Your life is your legacy...”, and it’s true.  Everything we do, all the work we do, every business we created both online and off, is  a part of our legacy.  How we live our lives, what we acquire in our lives, our homes, and material possessions are all a part of our legacy.

We get to enjoy these things while we are still among the living.  But what happens when we are not?  Where does it all go?

Most people, sadly, don’t want to entertain the thought of not being here; among the living.  But, we must.   I’m a licensed insurance agent and the reality is people don’t want to talk about death.  It’s frigthening to them and it is easier to just go on the hope that they will live another day, rather than think about “what if I don’t make it another day“.   The reality is we are all heading in the same direction whether  we think about it or not.

The most loving thing you can do for your family is prepare yourself for the passing on of your legacy.  It is the most selfless act of love you will ever demonstrate in your lifetime for them.  You are telling them through your actions that their futures matter to you and you are still going to be there supporting in their dreams.

As you sit down today to “give thanks” for all you have in your life, look around you, feel the love of your family and friends, and think to yourself, “What part of my legacy do I want to leave for them?  How can I show them how much I love them, even when I’m not here?

I know today is all about being thankful, and so is this post.  Being thankful is more than just saying “thank you”.  It’s about showing thanks, and here are three simple steps to take to “show” your loved ones how much you appreciate them through your legacy.

  1. Most people don’t have a basic will.  This is the starting point for making sure all your final requests are fulfilled.  Take time to create a list of things you want to assign and distribute no matter how great or small.  Making this list is less formal than going to an attorney’s office and makes the experience more personal.  It will give you some time to digest the process of preparing, but it will also fill you with a great sense of accomplishment that you are protecting your family from bickering over your belongings after your demise.
  2. Make sure you have insurance on your life.  You insure your car, home, sometimes even phone, yet most people don’t regard lives as important as everything else. You wouldn’t dare drive your car uninsured, why live you life uninsured?  While your car, home, and sometimes phone or other inanimate objects are protected if something happens to you, what about your family?  Do you think leaving them without a financial safety net to make sure that their loss is less devasting to them is not as important?  Get insured.  It actually could cost you less than your car insurance.  And if you don’t know how to go about doing that, I’m here to help guide you.
  3. Formalize your will by having it notarized and then have a family discussion.  Yes, it’s time to have the dreaded talk.  The talk worse than talking to your teenagers about sex.  Talking to your family about your legacy arrangements is difficult, because no one wants to imagine their own demise and the absent in the lives of their loved ones.  But what this conversation will do is bring a level of connection and intimacy that you could never dream.  It opens dialogue about the reality of life and that death is a part of it.  Showing them you care enough to protect them will empower them to value you more while you’re here.

Every year, I make modest modifications to my will and my insurance policies.  Why? Because the previous year may have included some business growth, life changes, personal acquisitions, and I want make sure they are all included for my son when I pass my legacy to him.  I have a sit down talk over dinner about the changes and where he can find all the documents.  This has become a tradition with us, and as a young man, he comes to understand the importance of building a legacy to pass on with his future family.

Life gives us so much to be thankful for…because we are alive.  Life also gives us an opportunity to prepare for the inevitable.  Don’t squander your time by taking it for granted and being unprepared.  Your family relies on you.

Here’s to Your Remarkable Life & Legacy!

Kim Harris
The “Legacy Creation” Strategist™
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