By David Feakes, Owner & Founder, The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC
When you think about 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 the item evokes, not the thing itself.
For my wife, and Marketing Director at the firm, Paula, the most treasured memento her late mother left her wasn’t even something she intended to be special—it was just a random voicemail on her cellphone. And the message wasn’t meant to be anything sentimental.
Her message simply said, “Paula, it’s mom. Call me when you get a chance.”
The year following her death, Paula listened to that message weekly. Of all the assets her mom left behind, that short voicemail was what she cherished most.
Paula and I have heard similar stories, but ones in which the voicemail was lost. Losing a treasured voicemail from a family member who is gone can be devastating.
For years, the team at The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm has been helping their clients leave cherished recordings for their family through a feature known as the Family Wealth Legacy Interview.
Family Wealth Legacy Interviews: Sharing Your Family’s Unique Story
We recognize that estate planning isn’t just about protecting and passing on your financial wealth and other tangible assets when you die. When done right, estate planning supports you to pass down the most precious assets of all—your life stories, lessons, insights, and values—and done so intentionally.
To collect and preserve what truly matters most, we include a unique service in every estate plan we create for our clients. When you plan with us, we will personally guide you to create a customized recording for the people you love—far more in-depth than Paula’s mom’s five-second message—in which you share your most insightful lessons, memories, and experiences. From there, we will provide you with the recording digitally to ensure it will survive long after you—and your money—are gone.
And don’t worry, if this sounds overwhelming or difficult in any way, it’s not. Our clients consistently tell us they are surprised about how easy it was, and how quickly they were able to create a truly meaningful gift for the people they love. But most importantly, what they also tell us is that it brings more intention and awareness to how they want to pass on their values, insights, stories, and experiences to the people they love on a day-to-day basis going forward.
Best of all, the Family Wealth Legacy Interview is offered at no additional cost to you, since it is part of each plan we create for our clients. And the process of documenting this recording is as easy and convenient as possible: We use a series of helpful questions and prompts, which makes the process both easy and enjoyable. From start to finish, the entire process takes less than an hour.
My favorite part about this process is that most of our clients tell us that going through it helps them rekindle life moments and memories they would otherwise not share with their loved ones. Indeed, this unique process can enrich your family with something far more valuable than any tangible asset you might leave, and instead leave behind a lasting legacy of love.
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 could be lost forever.
That said, recording your Family Wealth Legacy Interview is just a start. To protect and preserve your family’s tangible wealth and other assets, you should create a comprehensive estate plan. When done right, it’s really about planning for a life you love and a legacy worth leaving by the choices you make today.
Creating your estate plan goes far beyond having an attorney simply create documents and then never seeing them again. At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, we will develop a relationship with you and your family that lasts not only for your lifetime, but for the lifetime of your children and their children if that’s your wish. And this all starts with our Family Wealth Planning Session. If you’d like to learn more about next steps, or schedule your appointment, contact us today.