Have you ever wondered about the lives of your ancestors? Many of us have and it is not uncommon for people to spend considerable time and money trying to trace back their roots with varying degrees of success. When you are planning your estate you prepare to pass down things of monetary value to your loved ones, and there is no doubt that remembering your family in this way is very meaningful to them. But you and you alone have another valuable gift that you can choose to give to your loved ones and even the generations yet to come.
This gift is the story of your life, and passing it along can have immeasurable worth to your family in may different ways. Your early memories will paint a vivid picture of where the family came from culturally, ethically, and economically. When you recount stories about your grandmother and they are eventually read by your great-granddaughter, think about how fortifying that is to the fabric of your lineage. In addition, when you write about your personal experiences over the years they will invariably inform your family about the times within which you lived and your perspective on them as an objective participant. Historical accounts such as these are telling, authentic, and hard to come by.
These are great reasons to include your memoirs in your estate, but there is another that probably trumps those. You represent something different to each of your family members depending on your relationship to them. They may never have had a chance to see you as are you truly are in your own mind and your own heart. Your loved ones may find it impossible to imagine you as a child, or as a teenager. When you pass along your life story they get to see you in a more complete light, and opening in this way is as cathartic for you as it is meaningful to your loved ones. Now you have a way of passing on the values as well as the valuables.