When surveyed about leaving an inheritance, recent studies show that a growing number of people are more concerned about passing on their family values than their family valuables. A public opinion survey recently conducted by Allianz Pulse showed that the asset that garnered the highest priority ranking of 86% was “family history and stories,” while the lowest ranking of 10% went to “leaving a financial legacy.”
There appears to be a growing trend — particularly as Baby Boomers are becoming involved with their post-life planning — of people wishing to be remembered not only for the bank accounts and trust funds they left behind. Many people wish to leave behind a portion of their identity. Who they were and what they believed. There is no better way to accomplish this than by creating a genuine literary legacy and producing a memoir book. Long after the money you leave to your heirs has vanished, your autobiography will endure as a testimony of who you actually were. Your own story told in your own words. Here’s a case in point.
In 2007, I assisted a well-known industrialist and philanthropist, Mr. M, in producing a dynamic memoir book. Mr. M. passed away at age 92 in 2017. Here are the words of his daughter:
“Dad was generous and left his estate to me, to other family members, and to the causes he believed in. But the most treasured asset he left us was his amazing life story. Long after the dollars will have disappeared, his heirs will still know who Dad was, thanks to his book.”
A personal memoir book is more than a recounting of your life’s journey. It is also a repository for your personal philosophy and an opportunity to document the family values that you cherish — and wish to pass on to your children and grandchildren.
Hence, more and more people are adding one important item to their bucket lists. Along with their attorney, their tax consultant and their financial advisor, more folks these days are including the services of a collaborative author to produce an enduring personal history book.
What about you? Do you likewise place Values over Valuables when it comes to building an inheritance for your heirs? If so, you should likewise consider looking beyond traditional estate planning in order to transmit the truly priceless assets of your life: Your family history and family values.