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May is Senior Citizen’s Month, a time to reflect and appreciate all the things the seniors in our lives have done for us. Whether they are our parents, grandparents, or elderly friends, our seniors have given us so much over the years. But sometimes seeing your loved ones aging or seeing how you’ve aged yourself may remind you of how quickly time passes and how much you wish you could pause life.

When you think about a loved one who has passed away, you probably don’t give much thought to the material things they’ve left you. Maybe you have a piece of their clothing that you sometimes hold close to your heart or a favorite item of theirs displayed proudly on a shelf. But what you value most about that object likely isn’t its monetary worth but the memories it evokes of your loved one and the time you spent together.  You wish you could still hear from them, learn from them, and share memories with them.

At Davidek Law Firm, we know the value of planning for what happens to your financial assets. But we also know that there is something even more valuable to pass on to your loved ones than money – your stories, lessons, insights, and values. While we might not be able to pause time, there are things we can do to preserve the precious memories and lessons of the people we love.

That’s why we offer support, materials and encouragement for all our estate planning clients to conduct their own Legacy Interview – so they preserve their unique legacy for future generations. The Legacy Interview process creates an opportunity for our clients to share their love with the ones they care about most; and, for those who have aging parents or grandparents, the Legacy Interview is an even more important way to preserve their stories and create a cherished memory of their legacy for years to come.

Starting the Conversation with Your Loved Ones

Talking to your aging loved ones about estate planning and the legacy that they’ll leave behind can be difficult or uncomfortable for a lot of people. We all deal with the concept of aging and dying differently. Some of us avoid the topic altogether, and others will make light of it and even joke about “kicking the bucket.”  But it’s important to have a conversation about your elder’s wishes and how much it would mean to you for them to plan ahead.

If you aren’t sure how your loved one will respond to the topic, try to come from a vulnerable place, and not from a place of any sort of judgment if they joke about death. Instead, remember that they’re joking because they might be afraid.

Try saying something like, “I know this might be hard to talk about, but it’s something that’s really important to me. If something does happen to you, I want to make sure that we’re able to take care of you, and I know that you wouldn’t want to leave us with a big mess.”

You could also let your loved one know how much you value them, and how much it would mean to you for them to create a Legacy Interview so that you have a recording of them as they are right now before illness or incapacity are even a part of the picture.

By approaching the conversation in a vulnerable way, they’ll likely be more receptive to the idea of planning for their assets and more intentional in how they leave their legacy behind for the ones they care about.

Bringing Families Closer Together

Besides preserving a message for your loved ones, the Legacy Interview is a great time to reconnect with the moments and memories from your life that you might have otherwise forgotten.

In today’s hectic world, it can be hard to live in the moment, but by taking a little time to reflect on where your life has taken you, you’ll remember all that you’ve accomplished and all that you want to share with your loved ones, not just in your Legacy Interview, but every day.

Even after the interview is finished, you’ll likely live your life with more intention and awareness of how you want to pass on your values, insights, stories, and experiences in your day-to-day life. And if a senior member of your family is completing their Legacy Interview, you can feel at ease knowing that no matter what the future holds, you’ll always have a video of your loved one sharing their stories, their hopes, their jokes, and their love with you.

The Importance of Life & Legacy Planning

The Legacy Interview is a wonderful tool for seniors and their families. It’s part of our comprehensive planning process, which goes beyond creating documents and takes a holistic approach to planning for a life you love and a legacy you’re loved ones will cherish forever.

At the core of estate planning should be the understanding that your family’s most precious wealth is not money, but the memories you make, the values you instill, and the lessons you pass down. By planning for your life and legacy, you can ensure that your family’s wealth is preserved and protected for generations to come.

We believe that estate planning is not a one-time event but an ongoing process because it mirrors the ongoing process of your life. Whether you are growing your family or well into retirement, we can work with you to create a plan that evolves over time and adapts to changes in your life and family circumstances.

This article is a service of Davidek Law Firm, PLLC. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure that families and business owners make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for themselves and the people they love.