As the calendar flips from one year to the next, it’s a great time to begin thinking about getting your legacy in order in the new year.
Notice that I said legacy and not estate planning.
Estate planning is part of the equation. No doubt for some the issue of naming trustees, dealing with taxes and similar issues are all important. But estate planning is only one issue.
A legacy plan is the broader and bigger discussion of family legacy. It involves fundamentally the question of what values will I pass on to future generations and how will I practically accomplish that values transfer.
That navigation of values transfer involves an assessment of your own life—am I ready to make that change? Can I make the investment of time in that issue?
It also involves an assessment of children, and grandchildren. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Are they thriving? Can I help them thrive? Would financial wealth be a detriment or helpful? Are there other forms of wealth I should be passing on to them?
Like any navigation, charting the course involves the proper compass settings. What is the direction I’ve laid out for my family? Is it merely a general notion of “set sail for yourself?” Or is it something more?
In my own family, I’m working on this. I want my kids to understand the value of our own story. We started out in a rough place. And we’ve got stories of their grandfather that are not all flattering. But it’s our story, and I believe God has put us on a trajectory. We want to create wealth for future generations.
And that “wealth” is beyond financial. I hope that our wealth will be in our stories, our values, our families who are thriving.
So as you consider the year ahead of you, consider your legacy plan—something that will outlast you and bless generations to come.
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Published December 31, 2015
Topics: Family Legacy