Yesterday a colleague asked me, “Why do you think so many people put this [legacy planning] off?” If you’ve read my post “The Story Behind the Smile,” you know my theory of fear and hope. In today’s post, I want to focus on the fear and hope behind an often unspoken question, “What’s in it for me?”
In order to engage in estate planning, we have to face the fact that we will one day die. It’s not the most motivating thought. I have even heard one person ask why he should bother with estate planning. He didn’t care what his beneficiaries did with the wealth when he was gone. Taxes were not even a concern, as his children would still get more than had ever been given to him.
While estate planning could be described as planning for how your assets will be handled after your death, legacy planning is as much about today as it is about someday.
A primary goal of legacy planning is to help families create a safe space and a safe way to have the conversations they need to have — to be able to resolve conflict, engage in difficult discussions, speak the truth while respecting differences of opinion, to plan strategically, and to create authentic relationships.
These are the “what’s in it for me…” Meaningful conversations. Restored relationships. Family harmony. Individual wellbeing. Intimacy. Community. Purposeful living.
In upcoming posts, I’ll share examples of activities you and your family can use to get started on your legacy journey.