According to a recently released study from the Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, a large majority of baby boomers and other senior say their most important inheritance concern is preserving precious family memories and heirlooms.
Family Stories v Inheritances
Survey respondents overwhelmingly said that keeping their family history and stories alive is by far their greatest desire when they consider their legacy. 74% of people age 72 and older, as well as a whopping 86% of baby boomers said that preserving such stories is more important to them than leaving a monetary legacy. Only 9% of baby boomer said receiving a large inheritances is important to them, while only 14% of those 72 and older said leaving such inheritances to their families is more important than anything else.
Heirlooms and Mementos
Part of protecting a family legacy includes preserving mementos and heirlooms that, though they may not have a high dollar value, are nevertheless incredibly important. Baby boomers and other seniors who are considering estate planning issues should take the time to consult with their children and other relatives to determine what exactly they hold dear. Creating an estate plan that addresses these issues is important if you’re interested in preventing possible disagreements.
Though heirlooms are fairly easy to address with an estate plan, it’s much harder to preserve important family stories. Though you may have told, or heard, the same stories over and over again, that doesn’t guarantee that your children or grandchildren will remember them, much less pass them on after you are gone.
An easy way to begin compiling and preserving these memories is to go through old family photographs. You can start by writing key details on the back of each photo, or on a separate notepad that accompanies the album. You can, for example, write the date on which the photograph was taken, the location where it occurred, who is in the photo, and any other important details related to it.
For those with more ambition, using a computer with some basic desktop publishing and photo manipulation software can open a new world of possibilities. A simple scanner connected to your computer will allow you to digitize and store any photograph or document you like. You can then use these in conjunction with desktop publishing software to assemble a memento book, or even a more ambitious project such as a family history or personal memoir.
Regardless of the stories you want to preserve and the memories you want to keep, it’s always best to begin your efforts sooner rather than later.
While the vast majority of estate planners ignore these important matters ,the Legacy Wealth Plans created by our law firm makes it easer for clients to preserve their treasured heirlooms, stories and values.