Writing Your Life Story: Why

How often do you wish you knew more about your family? When we’re young, we don’t necessarily pay attention to the stories our older relatives tell us. Later in life, we often become interested in knowing who and where we come from. 

We want to learn more about what makes us who we are, and we may even become interested in genealogy. Unfortunately, for many people, the resources that were there when we were younger have become faded memories and the people who could fill us in have already passed on.

A new idea by the website FamilySearch makes recording memories easier than ever for younger generations. 

A common life lesson is to take large tasks and break them into smaller parts to make them achievable. FamilySearch has taken the task of writing your life story and broken it into 52 discrete parts that you can do once a week for one year. When you’re finished, you’ll have captured the memories your loved ones will value and created a true legacy for your family.

The questions posed on this website will allow you to catalog many things about yourself, such as the following:

  • The basics about you, such as your full name, how you got your name, where you were born, and where you grew up;
  • Information about your immediate and extended family, including memories of your parents and the work they did;
  • Important genetic information that could be helpful to your descendants, such as unusual genetic traits and medical conditions that run in your family;
  • Information about family traditions and how you spend your holidays;
  • Your memories about your schools and your friends; 
  • Information that you have learned about yourself and the world, such as your greatest strengths and challenges, as well as your life philosophies; and
  • Funny stories you remember, such as fads while you were growing up and tales about pets.

You can even add pictures. FamilySearch makes it easy to store your life story online, so your family can access it easily. However, you do not need to use that particular website; you can just commit to adding a memory on whatever service you choose — online through Ancestry.com, Google Photos, Facebook, or even by printing one photo a week and adding it to a physical album. I have begun doing the later — making three albums: one for me, one for my son and one for my daughter. This way there will be less arguing about photos when I die because they both already have their own albums memorializing their childhood and milestones from our family history.

I believe capturing your values, insights, stories and experiences is so important, in fact, that I incorporate what I call “Family Wealth Passages” into estate planning process through a “Family Wealth Legacy Interview” with every plan. 

This way, we ensure you are passing on not just your financial assets, but your whole family wealth, and what’s most often lost when you are gone.

My gift to you this month when you book your Family Wealth Planning Session is a Family Wealth Legacy Interview, whether you create a full estate plan for your kids and money, or not.

This article is a service of Ann-Marie Murzin, Personal Family Lawyer,®  who develops trusting relationships with families for life. If you’re ready to begin assessing the security you want to provide for your family, schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session™ today. I can help you make plans for how you want to provide for your loved ones when you can’t be there. Normally, a Family Wealth Planning Session™ is $750, but when you mention this article and are one of the first three families to book an appointment this month, I will waive that fee. Contact us today at (908) 377-8060 to schedule your session, or email me at amarie@murzinlaw.com.

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