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As you likely already know, but may not have given much thought to, the most important inheritance you provide is so much more than the money you’ll leave behind.

Your legacy includes your values, insights, stories, and experiences. And, while those things are being passed by you daily, I know that intentionally creating a Family Wealth Legacy requires more than happenstance. That’s why as a Personal Family Lawyer®, part of my planning process is to capture your legacy in recorded form through a Family Wealth Legacy Interview.

We can learn so much more than expected — about ourselves and our loved ones — when we ask the right questions.

So, this year, I invite you to ask your mother, father, and/or another loved one the 32 important questions below that can teach you valuable lessons about love, life, and what matters most. And, don’t just ask them, record their answers to create your own Family Wealth Legacy. Or, contact me to schedule time for a comprehensive Life & Legacy Planning Session this month, and we’ll create a Family Wealth Legacy as part of your estate plan.

Use these questions as a springboard and an engaging activity during the holidays and discover what you didn’t know about your loved ones:

  1. What comes to mind when you think about growing up in your hometown?

  2. What did you love to do as a kid, before high school?

  3. What did you love to do in high school?

  4. What do you remember most about your teenage years?

  5. What do you remember most about your mom (grandma)?

  6. What was most important to her?

  7. What do you remember most about your dad (grandpa)?

  8. What was most important to him?

  9. If Grandma and Grandpa had a message to pass along to the grandchildren, what would it be?

  10. How did you meet your spouse? How did you know (s)he was the one?

  11. How did you choose your career? What was your favorite part about it?

  12. What made you successful?

  13. What did you believe about yourself that helped you become successful and deal with hard times?

  14. What times in your life truly “tested your mettle,” and what did you learn about yourself by dealing (or not dealing) with them?

  15. What three events most shaped your life?

  16. What do you remember about when I was born?

  17. Were you ever scared to be a parent?

  18. What three words would you say represented your approach to parenting and why?

  19. When you think about [sibling] how would you describe him/her?

  20. What message do you have for [sibling] that you want him/her to always keep in mind?

[Do the last two questions above for each sibling in your family]

  1. When you think about [spouse], how would you describe her/him?

  2. What message do you have for [spouse] that you want her/him to always keep in mind?

  3. What three words would you say best describe who you tried to be in life? How would you like to be remembered?

  4. What do you think your children and grandchildren should focus on professionally?

  5. What have you learned about people in life?

  6. What do you think the world needs more of right now?

  7. What do you believe people want the most in life?

  8. What were the three best decisions you ever made?

  9. What are you most proud of?

  10. What were five of the most memorable moments of your life?

  11. What message would you like to share with your family?

  12. What are you most thankful for?

These questions can reveal a wealth of valuable life lessons — family treasures to discuss and share with generations to come. But having this conversation is just a start. To preserve and protect your family assets and other things of value, you should create a comprehensive estate plan that will safeguard what you value most.

I can guide you to create a "whole life" estate plan — which I prefer to call a Life and Legacy Plan because it’s about so much more than just your “estate” — that protects and preserves your most valuable assets. With every estate plan I draft, I include a recorded Family Wealth Legacy Interview, which becomes a priceless family legacy piece for your loved ones. Because I’ve discovered that estate planning is really a misnomer; when done right, it’s Life and Legacy Planning — planning for a life you love and a legacy worth leaving.

Before the session, I’ll send you a Life & Legacy Inventory and Assessment to complete that will get you thinking about what you own, what matters most to you, and what you want to leave behind. Schedule your Life & Legacy Planning Session.

This article is a service of Jeni Snider, Personal Family Lawyer®. I do not just draft documents; I ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death for you and the people you love. That's why I offer a Life & Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love.


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