What Will It Be?
What will you leave to your survivors when you die? How will your family remember you? What wise words about life would you like to impart upon your children before your death?
These and other similar questions are discussed in the book Willing Wisdom recently authored by Thomas William Deans, Ph.D.
The theme of the book is this: your legacy is not about the money that you leave, but rather about the knowledge, wisdom and values that you impart on those you leave behind, which hopefully will help them lead better and more meaningful lives. That is your true legacy.
People without a Will are not doing their heirs a favour. People with a Will which has not been discussed with their heirs are not doing themselves or their heirs a favour. In both instances, the result is often fighting, acrimony, regret, depression, shame, and confusion. This can only be avoided through communication and elaboration. Your legacy is in the sharing of great life lessons, along with your wealth and the responsibilities that go to your heirs and beneficiaries. Monetary wealth does not matter without physical, emotional, and spiritual health. In fact, the most important legacy is physical, emotional, and spiritual health, not wealth.
In his book, Thomas William Deans encourages yearly family meetings where every family, and every member of every family, discusses and provides their respective answers to seven questions. The purpose of these questions is not to control, but rather encourage discussions that will stretch their collective imagination about possibilities. There is no right or wrong answer, just an exchange of clarity, wisdom, and values, in order to use available resources and wisdom, for your legacy to flourish.
What are the seven questions? These will be discussed in future blogs. If you can’t wait, then I would encourage you to go to your favourite bookstore and buy the book directly.
Larry P. Carr, Q.C.