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.
For a colleague of mine, Alexis Katz, the most treasured memento her late father left her wasn’t even something he intended to be special—it was just a random voicemail on her cellphone. And the message wasn’t meant to be anything sentimental.
His message simply said, “Lex, it’s your dad. Call me back.”
Following his death, Alexis loved listening to that message to hear her father’s voice. Of all the assets he left behind, that voicemail was what she cherished most.
Until one day, she went to listen to the message and discovered it had been erased—and her father’s voice was lost to her forever. She still recalls that day as one of her worst ever, yet like most painful events, it taught her an important lesson.
Losing that voicemail ultimately inspired Alexis to build a new feature into her family-centered model of estate planning, known as Family Wealth Legacy Passages. We include a similar feature, which we call Priceless Conversations, in every plan we create.It 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
We 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.
Priceless Conversations 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, we 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 our clients tell us 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, not just leave behind a lasting legacy of love.
To help inspire you, we’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, Priceless Conversations is something we include as an integral part of our planning services—and it’s included at no extra charge with each plan we 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 Alexis’s voicemail from her father.
Leave a lasting legacy
As your personal family lawyer, our customized estate planning services will preserve and pass on not just your financial wealth, but your most treasured family values as well. Schedule a Life and Legacy 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 Legacy Counsel PLC, a trusts and estates law firm in Saint Joseph, Michigan. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure that you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Life and Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and become empowered to make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life and Legacy Planning Session.Mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.