Preserving Your Life Stories

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This guest blog was written by Peter from South County Law Group.  Peter helped us with our estate planning awhile back.  We loved working with him – click here to read about our experience. As part of his estate planning process, he records an interview where parents get to talk about their beliefs, values and how they would like their children raised for the guardians named.   To me, this was priceless and something that can be passed on down to future generations.    Isn’t it cool to think about your great-great-great grandchildren getting to hear an audio recording talking about who you are and what you believe in?  Such a special heirloom.

Here are some of his thoughts on the importance of preserving your life stories:

by Peter Sahin

The following is a summarized version of a story my father shared with me not too long ago….

“A longing for some sleep is the earliest memory I have from childhood…from the age of 6, my day on the farm started at 3AM slogging gallons of milk a couple miles to sell to a vendor before school started…as the youngest of 8, I somehow became the first in our family to make it through elementary school by studying under the light of a single small candle flame after my chores were done well after dark.  I remember getting in trouble once when my sister discovered I had been using her little mirror to reflect extra candlelight onto my papers so I see better!  I left home at 14 and moved to the city with a distant uncle and worked in his suit shop so I could attend high school there.  I barely graduated after being held back two years because one teacher refused to give me a passing grade for reasons I’ll never know.  After graduating, I spent an entire summer in the public library studying for a highway department scholarship to pay my way to America.  One year later, I receive a call that I had won 1 of the 10 engineering scholarships awarded nationally (apparently someone had gotten sick and couldn’t go)…6 months later I was handed a government issued paper suitcase with a one way airline ticket to NYC, 2 black suits, 2 black ties, 2 white shirts and my signed promise to return to work for the highway department after graduation…I was about to be the first person from my village to leave the country!…”

You may be asking yourself why an estate planning attorney is sharing this personal family story.  Hearing and preserving stories like these, of which every family has their own, are what I enjoy the most about what I do.

Traditionally, estate planning has only been focused on passing on assets between generations.  Your family’s monetary wealth should absolutely be preserved and protected.  Heck, you and yours have worked hard for it and it only makes sense to protect it from outsiders so there will be enough protected resources for your loved ones if anything were ever to happen to you.  But to me, your money is only one small part of your overall Family Wealth.

Preserving and passing on stories (or lessons, values, and beliefs) that are personal to your family so they can be heard directly in the storyteller’s voice by your children, grandchildren, and beyond is to me, far more valuable than all the money in the world.  Because I believe so strongly in their value, we conduct  recorded interviews for all our planning clients (on a yearly basis for member clients) so they can preserve their Whole Family Wealth, including who they are and what’s important to them for their children and loved ones.

If you’d like more information about Family Wealth Protection and Preservation for your family, click here for information on  our upcoming free workshops on October 24th or November 7th.  Bring the kids!  Registration is required. Click HERE to register online.

To your wealth, health, and happiness!

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