Legacy is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a gift by will, especially of money or other personal property” and “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.” There are essentially three types of legacy: memory (your story), resources (your stuff), and identity (who you are).
We all leave a legacy. We can be intentional about it, building the kind of legacy we want to leave, or we leave whatever legacy happens by chance – good or bad. The fact that you are reading these words indicates you are a man or woman on a mission. You work hard each day to build a business, a non-profit, a reputation, a client base, or otherwise on an upward trajectory in life. You don’t want to sit and watch life pass you by. You are a man or woman who dares. You have dared to step out and build a business even though it seemed to be an impossible or unreachable goal.
Everyday [you’re] hustlin’. That’s not just a song by Rick Ross, that’s your life (except for the drug dealing part of the song . . . .). You work hard every day and sacrifice time with friends and family to build your business. You get up early and go to bed late, you read, study, research, and do what is necessary to learn your craft and get better. You attend networking groups to build relationships that may help expand your reach.
You are on FIRE. Each day you recite your words of affirmation, you visualize, you set goals, and you strive to meet those goals. You make plans for your business and are intentional about following those plans to reach your goals.
However, one day, tragically and unexpectedly, you die. In all your planning, goal setting, and hustling, you didn’t carve out an hour of your time to speak with an attorney about an estate plan. You planned to talk to a lawyer about it, but never got around to it. You thought it wasn’t such a big deal, anyway, because surely everything would “automatically go to my spouse or my kids.” Right? (Not necessarily. More about this in blogs to come!)
You are on a mission. You dared to follow your dreams and passions in life. You would never want to leave your family to spend hours upon hours sorting through your stuff and having to ask for a judge’s permission to dispose of it. Your failure to make plans that would make life exponentially easier for your loved ones after your death is not congruent with who you are today. You’ve taken great care of your family and your business through the years, why would you leave your legacy – your stuff – in such chaos?
Preserve Your Legacy
The preservation of your legacy depends on the type of legacy. To preserve your resources, or your “stuff”, you need to do a formal estate plan that should include a last will and testament, power of attorney, advanced directive for health care, and possibly a trust. To preserve your memory, or your story, you can write a book.
What are you doing to preserve YOUR legacy?
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