Legacy refers to both family memories and the events surrounding these memories and financial legacy as many people wish to preserve part of the estate for younger generations.
As you continue to age, the reality is that your family and your legacy become increasingly more important to your day to day life. No matter where your parents, grandparents, or other family members may be living, you can take action now to keep connected even when loved ones are no longer around. Here are some easy ways to keep your family legacy alive.
Make a Recording of Your Relatives
One of the best ways to hold on to your loved ones is to make a recording of them. Ask your relatives to share their favorite memories of you together. You will be able to simultaneously remember the funny story or sentimental event when they tell it from their point of view. By recording them, you are also preserving their voice, which is a meaningful way to feel close to people.
The recording can be a simple audio recording or more sophisticated with video. A simple smartphone can accomplish both. Be sure to start your recordings before people get too old. As loved ones get older, they may suffer from physical or cognitive difficulties, making it hard or impossible for them to share their memories.
Family Recipes and Heirlooms
You may only have a few family recipes, or you may have dozens. Regardless of how your home operated, it is likely you had several favorite meals that you shared at the dinner table. By collecting the various recipes from throughout your life with your family, you can make them their favorite foods. You can even make the same dinner for your grandchildren that you did for your children years earlier. Be sure to continue adding recipes from your children's families as they establish their own traditions.
Family heirlooms are special pieces of jewelry, clothing, or other sentimental items that have a unique significance to your family. These items are usually tied to family memories and events that people want never to forget. Heirlooms are imbued with meaning when one person passes the object down to another. This intergenerational movement gives family heirlooms a life of their own, and they can even come from two or three generations back.
Create a Family Tree
Another great way to remember your family legacy is to create a family tree. With the help of some tips for how to build a family tree, you can begin this meaningful project. Start by collecting names, dates, and stories. Once you have all the information, you can decide how you want to bring the tree to life—whether as a craft or with a professional.
Once completed, you will have your distant grandparents and your children's names together in one place, allowing you to remember all the people who make up your family.
Take a look at your retirement plans. Do you have a living will in place? How about life insurance and Long-Term Care Insurance? Do you have preferences on how your future long-term care would look like? If you are concerned about protecting savings and investments, having a plan for the costs and burdens that come with longevity is essential to ensure future generations can benefit from your estate once you are gone.
With these ways to keep your family legacy alive, you can be reminded of your cherished family memories every day. Try one or all these ideas and watch as you grow closer with your loved ones.