The time for family togetherness and holiday traditions is just around the corner. These annual events, whether trimming the tree or marathoning holiday movies, are an important part of our lives. They are traditions that give our lives meaning.
As significant as they are, most don’t think of capturing these moments as part of a legacy or estate plan. After all, estate plans are for sums of money and belongings to be passed down through an inheritance, right? Yes, partially. Certainly, protecting our families financially and capturing our monetary assets are critical. But there’s a lot more to our lives than a means of survival. I would argue that the sentimental side of our lives – traditions, memories, acts of love – is just as important as financial security.
Once you’re gone, these traditions are how your loved ones will remember you as a human being. They’re how they’ll recall the time you shared. My kids and I make traditional Armenian cookies every Easter to honor our heritage. It’s a family recipe that my grandmother used to make, my mom after her, and now me. I’ll pass this recipe down to my children in hopes that they’ll bake the same cookies with their children. If they think of me when they do, the tradition becomes even richer.
I urge you to take a few moments this holiday season and write down a tradition you and your family share. Is it getting in the kitchen and making a family recipe like it is for us? Maybe it’s a scenic walk to appreciate the changing of the seasons. Perhaps it’s gathering in prayer before a meal. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be something no one else does to be considered a family tradition.
Once you’ve got your winter holiday traditions recorded, you might consider doing this throughout the year. I have a feeling you’ll realize that even a seemingly insignificant moment is quite meaningful – to you and your family.
After you’ve gotten a healthy list, pop them into your legacy planning account along with all of your other estate information. LegacyShield offers a secure place to store financial documents and family moments alike. Right alongside all of your bank account information, you can share recipes, family history, lineage – whatever you deem important. That way, what you want your loved ones to remember, whatever practice you want them to carry on, is right there for them to see.
If you don’t already have a LegacyShield account, work with your financial advisor to acquire one. You can bet I’ve got my grandmother’s Easter cookie recipe tucked away in mine.