I Am Not Famous, Do I Have a Legacy? Who Needs Legacy & Estate Planning?

almost-famous-logo-large

So many of the clients that I sit down with begin their objections with I am not some famous celebrity such and such so I do not have a legacy that anybody is going to care about. But what many of us often fail to realize is that in our worlds and to those closest to us, especially our relatives in most cases, we are each and every one of us a superstar – the only difference, the size of our stage. So when you have kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews who looks up to you and hang on your every word – those are your fans; that is your audience. And if you close your eyes for ten seconds, maybe you can see their grandkids’ grandkids many generations off into the future.

Each life is a unique story woven and developed over the special circumstances of your lifetime and is therefore priceless and irreplaceable. Once our stories are lost, they are just that – lost, forever. Is there a pressing question that you wish you could pose to one of your ancestors? Do you ever sit and wonder how your family came to be settled in blank place, somewhere town?

Every life is a story, every life is a legacy. We all have the opportunity to be proactive and plan for how our stories, our philosophies, business practices, beliefs and belongings will be handled now in this present moment of our lives as well as moving forward in a strategic and planned manner. This is the foundation of legacy and estate planning. When you look back throughout history you can find some excellent examples of excellent planners. Examining their lives and bodies of work what do rock legend John Lennon and crooner Bing Crosby have in common – seemingly not very much. However, following their passing, it became clear that each man had been both thoughtful and proactive in planning how their estates would be discreetly handled and efficiently dispersed.

We each have the opportunity to follow the examples of well-organized and proactive individuals or we can take the oft traveled path of the many whose stories are destined to the trash bins of history and who estates and affairs will be sorted out however by whomever. Which person are you? Are you going to be proactive and Celebrate Life? Or just let chips fall where they may and do nothing at all?

Advertisements

What Does Legacy Mean? Peyton Manning says he doesn’t really know.

Peyton Manning says he doesn’t know what Legacy means, do you?

At the NFL’s 2014 Media Day for Super Bowl XLVIII the Denver Broncos record-setting
quarterback was asked about his legacy, which he basically declined to speak about.

I’ve been asked about my legacy since I was about 25 years old, which I’m not sure you can have a legacy when you’re 25 years old or even 37,” Manning said.  “I thought you had to be like 70 to have a legacy.  I’m not 100 percent sure what the word even means.”

Below you can actually take a look for yourself if you did not see the actual interview:

So here is the actual dictionary definitionLegacy – noun:  something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.

According to the renowned psychotherapist Erik K. Erickson, Peyton Manning is normal and just like almost every other person when it comes to the timing and age of internalizing and understanding our legacy and our connection to those who will come behind us.

Erikson who is most famous for coining the phrase “Identity Crisis” also gave us the term “Generativity” as the 7th of 8 Stages of Human Development Generativity vs. Stagnation which occurs between the ages of 35-64.

Generativity is the ability to generate anything tangible that will exist beyond one’s earthly life; particularly when exhibiting a need to nurture and guide younger people and contribute to the next generation.  The adult stage of generativity has broad application to family, relationships, work, and society.  Eriskson said, “Generativity, then is primarily the concern in establishing and guiding the next generation… the concept is meant to include… productivity and creativity.”

There are five primary categories of Generativity, they are:

1) Biological – the act of making a child;

2) Parental – the act of raising a child;

3) Technical – the creation of tangible works that will maintain an existence beyond your life, (i.e., paintings, writings, or a business organization);

4) Cultural – the creational of a meaning belief or value system that is passed on to others; and,

5) Societal – the ability to create societal change and/or reform, (i.e., Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., et. al.).

Now we have covered Legacy and thrown in Generativety as a bonus, which begs the question, “What is Your Legacy?”

Legacy Wisdom – Walter D. Wintle

Thinking, (a.k.a. – The Man Who Thinks He Can)

 published ca. 1900

  

If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win but you think you can’t,

It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,

For out of the world we find

Success begins with a fellow’s will –

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are;

You’ve got to think high to rise;

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battle doesn’t always go

To stronger or faster men;

But sooner or later the man who wins,

Is the one who thinks he can.

                                                    By:  Walter D. Wintle

 

(Special thanks to Cheryl A. Mobley-Stimpson, the PhillySportsMom for introducing us to this wonderful poem.)

Legacy Wisdom – Jim Rohn

For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.

Jim Rohn

1.  How has this applied to your life’s pursuits?
2.  If you shared one story from your life that provided an example of this statement’s truth, what story would you share?

 

Legacy Wisdom – Vista M. Kelly

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.

– Vista M. Kelly

 

1)  When you read this quote what does it immediately bring to mind? 

2)  Do your thoughts change when asked to apply this quote to your family and future generations?