Bequeathing Your Wisdom

Bequeathing Your Wisdom

Article posted in Values-Based on 10 February 2016| 5 comments
audience: National Publication | last updated: 10 February 2016


Josh Patrick advocates for passing on more than the familys financial assets. Profound thinking and advice.

By: Josh Patrick, Originally published on AdviceIQ

Too often in the world of wealth management, estate planning is about splitting up the money after people are gone. I think this is too bad. For me, leaving a legacy of wisdom and love is more important than leaving money.

When I think of estate planning, I focus on what makes a good life and what the things are that shape such a life and create value in it. A worthwhile approach is to think about how you can share your wisdom with those you care about and give them a picture and a memory of who you are for years to come.

Here are some ways to do that:

Write a letter to each of your loved ones. If you have a spouse, a couple of kids, grandchildren, good friends and some others who are important in your life, that is a lot of work. But I hope you take the time to do this. You should personalize each letter with stories that have meaning for each person. I believe spending time reflecting on what your family and friends mean to you is an activity you’ll enjoy.

Make a video of yourself. I’m 62. I don’t think I have the opportunity to directly talk to my great grandchildren. Thanks to the technology, an easy way to let your future generations know something about you is to make a video. You can share stories about your life, values that you want to pass on, and hopes and dreams you have for them.

Record what you’ve learned. Over the past couple of decades, you accumulate enough wisdom. You can talk about, either in written or electronic form, your view of life. You can talk about what mistakes you made personally or generationally, how you feel about the mistakes and what the takeaways are. I think this is a great gift you can give to your future generations.

Tell people you love them while you are alive. One of the problems with estate planning is that your loved ones don’t find out what is on your mind until you’re dead. Don’t forget to tell people how much you love them. You never know when the last time is that you have the chance to say that.

Some people think life does not end until you are not remembered. There probably is some truth to this. I hope that you are willing to start planning for a legacy that includes passing wisdom to those that you love. I think they will appreciate the effort you spend.

Josh Patrick is a founding principal of Stage 2 Planning Partners in South Burlington, Vt. He contributes toThe New York Times You’re the Boss blog and works with owners of privately held businesses helping them create business and personal value. You can learn more about his Objective Review process at his website.

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Re: Bequeathing Your Wisdom

I agree. Thanks for your comment.

Re: Bequeathing Your Wisdom

As a person trained to engage individuals in the process of writing an ethical will I could not agree more. In fact, in practice in the community I serve our estate planning guide begins with reflecting on one's values. Seems a critical step before planning and in sharing these important messages, which anyone can do regardless of the size of their financial estate.

Re: Bequeathing Your Wisdom

Thanks Curtis. It really is about our conveyance of intent.

Re: Bequeathing Your Wisdom

Too often people think it's about the money.
It's about their (and our) RELATIONSHIP with money - and with others in our lives. Let the money be a conveyance of intent; make your legacy one of love.

Re: Bequeathing Your Wisdom

I love your statement. Let the money be a conveyance of intent and make your legacy one of love......just wonderful. Thanks!

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