Did you know that almost 70 percent of adults in the United States do not have any kind of will after they pass away? Thinking about your financial or family legacies can be difficult, but it is a good idea to start your plan while you still have time and resources.
Building a family legacy is incredibly important because you want to continue the traditions in your family and leave behind something that can be further built upon. With a supportive family, you will be able to have a foundation for many more generations.
Want to learn more about family traditions, generational wealth, and constructing a financial legacy? Here are some key tips to get you started as soon as possible.
Focus on Family Traditions
Family traditions are one of the most important aspects of your legacy, as they may last for many generations to come. No matter how big or small your family is, there are things that you will always love to do together.
If your family likes to gather together on holidays, make sure that you record recipes that may not be written down or celebratory songs and rituals. Having documentation ensures that your descendants will be able to continue on with your family traditions.
Some family traditions do not need to be elaborate or involve many different people. For example, a tradition could be as simple as saying a prayer before a meal or going out to the park for a family activity every Sunday.
Sort Out Wealth and Finances
Your financial legacy is equally as important as your family legacy when it comes to what you leave behind for your loved ones. Even if you are not vastly wealthy, you should still ensure that your financial situation is sorted out so you do not stress out your family.
If you have a substantial amount of money, it is a good idea to meet with a financial advisor to ensure that your money is secure. For example, you may want to make investments that will have high returns in future decades, which your family may be able to use to support themselves.
You should also give the executor of your will information for your bank accounts. That money may need to be accessed to pay for end-of-life services or funeral costs. Keep the information in a safe place, such as a locked safe or a secured document.
Build a Media Collection
Photographs and videos have always been a great way to preserve memories and cement your family legacy. Whether you opt for a classic photo album or the digital version, you should ensure that you document plenty of memories.
If you want your photos and videos to be even more secure, you should back them up with a cloud-based storage method. That way, you will always have access to your important items, and you will not have to worry about losing the physical copies.
You can organize your photos based on years, the members of your family, or important milestones in your life. When your family goes to look at them to remember you, they will be able to see everything that was important to you in your life.
Record Personal Histories
Another way to capture memories besides pictures is to document stories that are important to your family members. Stories are incredibly important for preserving family traditions and legacies for generations after you pass away.
You can interview your family members by recording them with their permission so they can feel free to speak about what they wish to. Once you have the tapes, you can transcribe them yourself or have a transcription service make the job easier for you.
If you want to take it a step further, you can edit the transcripts into a history book that your family can read and enjoy. Encourage other family members to do the same and you will form a collection that will encompass your entire family history.
Write Your Will
People who pass away unexpectedly and without a will can potentially cause family drama and fractured relationships. The last thing that your family should go through when mourning is trying to figure out how to allocate your money and possessions.
If you already have a will, consider sitting down with your family members or an attorney to give it a second look. You should try to update your will every few years to reflect beneficiaries who may have passed away or changes in your financial net worth.
You should also decide on who will be the executor of your will. If you have an attorney on retainer, he or she will be able to inform recipients of what they will receive after you pass away. Many people may also choose a trusted family member or friend as well.
Save Valuable Items
Although memories are important, you should not discount the impact of physical objects that can be passed down through the family line. Possessions like furniture, jewelry, clothing, and decorations can be given to family members for their own personal use.
For extremely expensive items, you should consider getting insurance so that they will not lose financial value if they are lost or destroyed. If something happens to them, you will get compensation in order to buy a replacement to make up for the loss.
If you have a will and you know who you want specific items to go to, you should be as detailed as possible to avoid confrontation or arguments. Ask your family members if they have anything in mind that they might want before you write your will.
Create Your Family Legacy Today
You should have to worry about your financial legacy or family legacy when you pass away. With these building blocks, you can rest easy that your generational wealth is secure after you are gone.
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