Within a person’s estate, money will be the most talked about even though the riches of their experience and wisdom has much more meaning that can be passed down. You can plan to have a reinforcement of family traditions that can be also built along with your assets in your estate plan. After all, what makes a family is not the way its finances are written in a document but through traditions and values.

Before you exit this world, there is sort of things that matter to you most and having to hold a family meeting to share it, would be an excellent idea. Having to share your value of your wisdom, you can give properly guides them to have an idea of how to handle their inheritance correctly. This gives them an understanding of your reasons behind your choices. So, this is one reason why it’s important to have a family meeting and discuss the important things of how you want to leave your legacy and have a peace of mind when you pass.

How to tell your story through your estate plan

It would be so wonderful to hear your elder’s stories of their memorable moments and wildest adventures, including the struggles they had to overcome to get to where the family is today. Experiences like these have provided an everlasting meaning in receiving an inheritance. You can record your own personal experiences as part of your estate and legacy planning. Here are some ways:

  • Audio files: With today’s technology, there are many audio formats available to pick from. From a handheld cassette recorder to voice memos app on your iPhone or Android phone. You can also use the web based services such as digitizing services. They can help you organize your stories to make them available to your loved ones.
  • Video files: In today’s technology, it is much easier to edit your video which can make your story much richer and engaging. Older home videos can easily be digitized and be included with the videos from your phone.
  • Photo albums: There are some prized photo collections from older generations. You can create a digital database which you can have access to at any time. This way also protects tragedies from happening such as misplacing them in a move, lost in a fire or extreme weather events.
  • Letters and other writings: If you are passionate about writing, you can also include handwritten, typed letters or stories in your legacy plan to be shared and read at the time of your choosing. This can include past letters and postcards that have been stored away in the attic. It would be a wonderful experience to relive the memories of the past and it’s also a great way for younger generations to get to know and sincerely appreciate your life journey and legacy.

Passing your values to the next generation

The idea here is to blend your estate planning with your personal values. To discuss the core values in your life and legacy. Whatever you feel most passionate about for your beneficiaries to have, whether to travel and gain worldly experience, continue some unique family tradition such as astronomy or sailing, or support meaningful charitable or spiritual work, MMZ LAW can draft trusts that contain funds specifically set aside for these endeavors.

  • Educational trusts: If you value the education of your family’s future education, you can do this type of planning to fund their educational journeys such as undergraduate and graduate degrees, including community classes. As educational cost has been rising, your family’s future generation can withstand or overcome the burden of school loans and debts.
  • Incentive trusts: This type of trust can help guide the course of your beneficiaries’ path in life in making the right choices with your wisdom. For example, you can create the trust, for your descendants to receive their inheritance, your heirs must have a full-time job. Another would be, if family vacations were an important part of your upbringing, you can fund family vacations to experience the same memorable and learning traditional experience that you did.
  • Charitable trusts or foundations: This type will have benefits of reducing income and estate taxes. Besides the financial benefits, this can leave your family legacy of supporting a cause that can be passed on to generations to come. It can help a charitable organization that is central to your core values and associate your name with a philanthropic effort for generations to come.

If your life and legacy are important to you and want to pass them for generations to come. Give us a call today and schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation (909) 256-6702. MMZ LAW can show you how to create your plan, highlight your memories and values in a way that will truly benefit your heirs the way you wished your legacy to be passed on.



341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.