When you hear the term family legacy what images comes to mind? Do you think of well-known families such as the Gates, the Kennedys or the Jacksons? Well regardless of income level or celebrity status, the legacy you create and leave for your family has just as much significance and value as those listed above.
So many people put off preparing essential documents such as a will or a power of attorney believing that perhaps if they don’t think about it, death will surely pass them by. Others feel that if they don’t have millions (or thousands!) in the bank, that estate planning doesn’t apply to them. Both are sadly mistaken. If you are a college student, if you have minor children, if you are married, divorced or single, if you are a senior, if you are a business owner, if you own property – You my friend need to get a plan. That’s the first step but please keep in mind that your legacy is much more than the material assets that you leave behind.
While I am sure Jr. would appreciate the car or some other tangible asset, the most important gift you can ever leave your loved ones is a statement of your life lessons, values, hopes and dreams.
The legacy that Erin Kramp left is an example of this. After learning that she was dying from cancer, she recorded a series of video and audio tapes for her then 6 year old daughter advising her on everything from career choices, relationships and even the possibility of a new Mom. What an incredible gift this mom was able to leave her daughter to help ease the transition that would soon take place. Have you given thought to the values you wish to pass on to your own family? Take some time to write out your thoughts and begin the process of creating your own family legacy. In the words of an often quoted credit card advertisement, the result will be PRICELESS!
Michelle Adams is a Colorado licensed attorney specializing in estate planning and family mediation. She is committed to working with individuals and families to ensure that they have the proper documents in place to protect themselves and their loved ones. Through personal experience and her work with clients, she recognizes the critical importance of estate planning no matter the individual’s net worth.