Allianz American Legacy Studies researchers asked a group of Baby Boomers and their parents to rank on a scale of 1-10 (10 being most) what was more important to them when it comes to passing down an inheritance: values and life lessons or financial assets.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, the results showed that passing down values were over seven times more important than passing down valuables.
Yet only a small fraction of these three generations has made any provisions, mostly due to lack of awareness, education and the tools to do the job properly.
In addition to values and life lessons, a lot more should be included when building and passing down a legacy. Keepsakes and awards often represent defining moments and milestone events and can become family heirlooms when the stories behind their acquisitions are documented.
Identifying people in a select group of vintage family photos is one the best ways to document personal history, as some of the people in the old photos might as well be strangers to grandchildren. Those who grew up in the 20th century were first generations to record special events and moments.
Today’s digital technology offers a chance to pass down a purposeful legacy that will survive the ravages of time, and the experts at LegacyStories.org have developed an innovative Legacy Builder Tool Chest to help.
Consisting of fourteen drawers, each “toolkit” focuses on a specific legacy topic with interactive how-to guidebooks, downloadable forms, video tutorials and lots of helpful resources.
Toolkit topics include “Life Lessons and Values“, “Keepsakes & Heirlooms”, “Vintage Legacy Photos”, and one titled “Loved Ones in Care” to help caregivers build a legacy for victims of Alzheimer’s, people in hospice care, or seniors living in assisted or skilled nursing facilities.
“Since passing down life lessons and values is the highest priority, we provide members the ‘Life Lessons and Values’ toolkit at no cost,” says Tom Cormier, co-founder of LegacyStories.org. “Membership in LegacyStories.org is also free so there are no obstacles to prevent anyone from securing an honored place in family history. They just need to take action before regretting it.”
The Legacy Builder Tool Chest is also being recommended by financial advisors, estate planners and elder law attorneys as a means to engage with their clients in a purposeful way.
Our goal is to help people establish themselves as “effective elders” while they are alive, and to become “awesome ancestors” when they pass on,” Cormier states. “Our grandchildren and descendants will one day have an interest in learning about their family history. Because so few people will take the time to document their personal history, those who do will live on forever as their descendants’ go-to awesome ancestor.”
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