Five Simple Legacy Planning Tasks to do This Fall
It’s that time of year again. The season where the air becomes cooler, the leaves begin to change, and loved ones find their way back home to celebrate what they’re thankful for. Fall is an opportunity to wind down, reflect, and make final preparations as the year comes to a close.
Here are five things that you can do this fall to start or tidy up your legacy plans.
1. Create an Emergency Plan
Planning often takes a backseat as we get caught up in the day-to-day. But it’s essential to make a detailed plan for your family. In an emergency, your loved ones may become overwhelmed trying to figure out your medical history, prescription list, or in worst-case scenarios, your advanced directives. Your plan should contain information on the four pillars of information:
- Your medical history and preferences
- Your estate plans
- Financial and insurance account information
- Credentials to critical or shared online accounts
Download our end-of-life checklist to learn more about creating an emergency plan.
2. Protect Special Family Photos
As families gather around to celebrate life, love, and legacy with one another, it’s a great time to pull out the old photo albums. As you take a moment to appreciate the memories, make sure that your images are properly protected so they’re never lost or damaged. Additionally, as we see a rise in fires, floods, and other natural weather events, protecting our personal memories is becoming more critical.
Keep your albums or photo boxes stored somewhere that is easily accessible yet protected from the elements. We do not recommend storing them in the garage or attic, as they are more prone to damage. You should consider digitizing your photos and storing them in a cloud or other storage software if you have the resources. If you keep your photos or videos in a cloud, be sure to let your loved ones are aware that they exist. If no one knows they live there, they’ll become lost after you’re gone.
3. Store Favorite Holiday Recipes
One of the things many people look forward to this season is the food. Whether it’s Grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie or Aunt Pam’s famous mac and cheese, these recipes are special. They should stay in the family for generations to come. This fall, take some time to write down recipes or record how your loved ones prepare them in action. This is a great way to honor these family members and the impact of their time, love, and, of course, food. Another idea is to create a family recipe book. Using software like Canva, making a recipe book to print at home or using a printing service is easier than ever.
4. Share & Secure Family Stories
Family storytelling has been practiced all throughout history. It’s how family history and culture are passed down to younger generations and helps them connect to their ancestors, heritage, and identity. It’s also a great way to honor and bond with the oldest members of the family. Make some time this fall to talk about your family’s stories. It is sometimes shocking to find out the truth about your family’s roots. Be sure to write down or record these stories to be passed down to your own grandchildren while also adding a few stories of your own.
5. Talk to Your Loved Ones About Your Final Wishes
Having the family together again is a great time to talk to your loved ones about your end-of-life plans. While there’s never really a “perfect” time to have this conversation, starting when surrounded by those that love and care for you will make this conversation easier. Let your loved ones know:
- The care you’d like to receive
- Medical procedures you do or don’t want
- Your funeral and body preferences
- Your estate plans
- The roles you’d like each member to take on
As difficult as starting these conversations, it may be just as hard for family members to listen. Read more on our blog to learn how to start these conversations for a meaningful discussion.
The Importance of Legacy Planning
Legacy planning is the act of making preparations to pass off your assets, life lessons, and memories to the next generation. While this can seem daunting, just start by thinking about how you want to be remembered. Legacy planning gifts your loved ones with time and resources to wrap up your affairs, healthily grieve, and celebrate your life and the impact you’ve made on them.
Take the time this fall to start your legacy plans with The Postage. Our legacy planner makes it easy to start your legacy plans and securely store your plans, memories, and files safely until needed.