The Legacy Interview

Leaving a Legacy - Legacy Interview

Many people think of Estate Planning mostly in terms of preserving and passing on their money and property to their families. The attorneys at Leigh Hilton, P.L.L.C. take pride in being very good at helping our clients do that. We know that you have worked hard to earn everything that is part of your estate. We understand how much it means to be able to enrich the lives of our children and future generations with the fruits of our labor. We are pleased to be a part of helping you accomplish the reality of your generous intentions. Now we are excited to offer you even more.

The bank accounts, retirement plans, insurance policies, investments and real properties are definitely important assets and say a lot about who you are. Still you have other treasures that should not be overlooked when determining what you will give to your heirs.

There may be heirlooms, pricey or simply sentimental: china, crystal, jewelry, a book, a musical instrument, childhood toys, etc. These things will be valued more for their meaningful connections and memories than for their monetary worth.

You also have values, experiences, wisdom and observations about life that, if shared, can make a world of difference to your heirs. That may seem like a difficult, if not impossible undertaking. Few of us will write our memoirs. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

The “Legacy Interview”

Our commitment is to make it possible for you to put as much of your “self” into your legacy as possible. For that reason, we are scheduling one hour appointments to create a video taped interview. If you are interested, please contact our office to schedule a time. This interview will be the vehicle for sharing the rest of your treasures.

The Legacy Interview is personal and individual.

Each person should select questions and schedule a separate interview.

Some people imagine this to be a difficult process. Usually it is not. We will provide you with some sample questions that you can think about. You need not memorize answers; in fact we recommend that you do not. The video tape will be more of a conversation between us. Select 15 to 17 questions from the list. Place a check mark by each one you choose. Some questions have multiple parts distinguished by the small circles. Each of these will count as one answer. If there are some questions that you want to make sure are included, just let us know by placing a star by that one.

How Much Time Does This Take?

How much time you spend thinking about the questions is up to you. You can get started thinking about the questions and your answers now if you would like. The Legacy Interview in our office takes one hour. That’s all.

For most people, this is a pleasurable and meaningful experience. You will receive the video. Some people choose to share the video immediately. Others choose to make them available after they are deceased. Either way, their families will cherish this gift.

Imagine!

Imagine how wonderful it would be to have such a gift from your ancestors. Today’s technology makes it easy to talk about your values, pass on your observations, advice and expressions of love. We are excited about offering you the opportunity of leaving a legacy that includes yourself as well as your wealth.

Sample Questions for The Legacy Interview

  • Where were you born and how did your family happen to be there?
  • Are there religious, moral and ethical values that have guided your life and from whom did you learn them?
  • What are some of the things that make you proud of your life?
  • What are some of the mistakes you have made in life and what did you learn?
  • What would you want most for people to say about you?
  • What have you learned and want to share about:
    • Living a good life
    • Choosing a mate
    • Marriage
    • Business
    • Money
    • Rearing children
    • How to treat others
    • Aging
  • How have your religious and moral values affected how you view yourself and others?
  • Tell us about your children: Name and birth order, one or two traits you appreciate, what you wish for this child’s future and your special message of love for each child.
  • Are there traditions or rituals that have been a part of your family’s life? From whom were they handed down, or did you develop them yourselves?
  • Who are the most influential people in your life and what is the most important thing you learned from each of them?
  • What are you passionate about? Do you have causes you contribute to or offer volunteer services?
  • What have been your biggest challenges in life and what have you gained from them?
  • What are some of the things for which you are most grateful in life?
  • What do you wish you could do over?
  • With regard to work or career choices, what has been the most rewarding? How does that affect what you wish for your children or grandchildren?
  • Where do you currently live and what brought you to this place?
  • Special Message to your spouse:
    • What are the things you have most appreciated about your spouse?
    • Do you believe you will meet again or that you will still be “with” your spouse in some way?
    • What do you wish for your spouse’s future?
    • Expressions of love or farewellQuestions about life and family
      • Where were you born and how did your family happen to be there?

       

      • Are there religious, moral and ethical values that have guided your life and from whom did you learn them?

       

      • What are some of the things that make you proud of your life?

       

      • What are some of the mistakes you have made in life and what did you learn?

       

      • What would you want most for people to say about you?

       

      • What have you learned and want to share about:
      • Living a good life
      • Choosing a mate
      • Marriage
      • Business
      • Money
      • Rearing children
      • How to treat others
      • Aging

       

      • How have your religious and moral values affected how you view yourself and others?

       

      • Tell us about your children: Name and birth order, one or two traits you appreciate, what you wish for this child’s future and your special message of love for each child.

       

      • Are there traditions or rituals that have been a part of your family’s life? From whom were they handed down, or did you develop them yourselves?

       

      • Who are the most influential people in your life and what is the most important thing you learned from each of them?

       

      • What are you passionate about? Do you have causes you contribute to or offer volunteer services?

       

      • What have been your biggest challenges in life and what have you gained from them?

       

      • What are some of the things for which you are most grateful in life?

       

      • What do you wish you could do over?

       

      • With regard to work or career choices, what has been the most rewarding? How does that affect what you wish for your children or grandchildren?

       

      • Where do you currently live and what brought you to this place?

       

      • Special Message to your spouse:
      • What are the things you have most appreciated about your spouse?
      • Do you believe you will meet again or that you will still be “with” your spouse in some way?
      • What do you wish for your spouse’s future?
      • Expressions of love or farewell

      Questions Related To Children with Special Needs

       

      • What is your child’s name, place and date of birth, and current age?
      • What are a couple of this child’s most delightful characteristics?
      • What physical, cognitive or emotional challenges determine your child’s special needs?
      • What type of care or support will this child need?
      • What agencies and caregivers currently provide services for your child?
      • Do you have a Special Needs Trust for this child? If so, who have you chosen to be the trustee?
      • Have you also chosen a person to provide day-to-day care, or to manage other providers?
      • What are your educational and social expectations or hopes for this child?
      • What are your child’s daily activities now? How do you see that changing in the future?
      • Is your child involved with religious activities? How important is it for this child to be supported in continuing to participate in the future?
      • Does your child participate in service groups, sports, or social activities?
      • What are your child’s favorite foods?
      • Are there foods or other things that your child is allergic to, or that your child finds upsetting?
      • Are there things that particularly delight your child?
      • Is there music that your child loves or hates?
      • Have you made special arrangements for healthcare, education or final need for this child?
      • Have you prepared a list of healthcare providers, agencies, and social services as well as financial arrangements? Where are those located?
      • Have you provided a daily schedule of your child’s typical activities? Where is that located?
      • Besides the special needs that this child has, what are the things that make this child really special and endearing to you?
      • Do you have any special wishes for this child’s future?
      • Are there words of gratitude you would like to express for those who will be caring for your child if you no longer can?

       

      Questions Related Family Pets

       

      • Do you actively support any particular organizations that benefit animals in general or pets in particular?
      • Do you have plans to financially support any related organization or charity? If so, how are you hoping the money will be used and how do you wish to be recognized for your gift?
      • Have pets been a special part of your family?
      • Do you currently have one or more pets?
      • How did you meet you pet?
      • Did you know immediately that you and your pet belonged together or did it take time?
      • Describe your pet and what makes this one very special.
      • Does your pet have special places to walk or explore?
      • Does this pet have some problems, illness, or disabilities?
      • What are the names and locations of the Vet and Groomer you and your pet prefer?
      • In the event of your death or disability, have you made arrangements for the care of this pet? Do you have a trust or agreement with someone to provide care when you cannot? If so, who have you chosen and who has copies of the pertinent documents?
      • What are your hopes for the rest of your pet’s life?
      • What message do you wish to give the person or agency that will provide loving care for your pet when you cannot?

       

       

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Leigh Hilton is an ACCREDITED ESTATE PLANNER® based in Denton and serving the DFW Metroplex. Areas of practice include:
Wills, Trusts & Estates | Elder Law | Probate Law | Estate Planning