Preparing for the inevitable realities of aging is at the core of estate planning, and for the most part it is seen as a pragmatic series of preparations. Some of them are financial, including retirement planning, addressing contingencies that may arise during your twilight years, and the ultimate distribution of your assets after your death. There are also potential health care issues that must be addressed, but these too are practical matters.
So once you have all of these things taken care of, your family will be aware of your wishes in the event of your incapacitation and they will now how you want your assets distributed at the time of your death. But when you pass on, will they feel as though they knew the real you? Will the young ones who you never had the chance to spend time with benefit at all from the wisdom that you acquired during your lifetime?
Leaving behind monetary assets and possessions is one way to pass along your legacy, but the experiences that you had throughout your life and the lessons that they taught you are the sinew of who you truly you are. You wouldn’t have the assets that you are leaving behind if you didn’t know the things that you do, and it is important to leave the legacy of knowledge behind as well.
If you sit down and write your life story and include it in your estate, your family will get a more complete understanding of your perspective on the world. The value of this cannot be understated, because along with sharing valuable wisdom you will also have the opportunity to lay yourself bare. Perhaps some of the things that took place over the years will make more sense to loved ones who could not understand them if they could see them in a broader context. The value of your unique path is priceless, and sharing an account of it for future generations to know you by may be the most generous gift you can give them.
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