Losing a loved one is never easy, and having to talk to them about their legacy can be a difficult and emotional conversation. However, it's important to have this conversation to ensure that their wishes are respected and their memory is honored in the way they want.

Phil's article highlights a crucial component of estate planning - the family letter. This document serves to communicate your wishes to your loved ones and provide them with all the necessary information they need to carry out your legacy. However, putting all your thoughts and intentions on paper can be daunting. It might be easier to initiate the conversation with your family members first.

It's important to approach the conversation with empathy and compassion. Your loved one may be feeling a range of emotions, including fear, sadness, and regret, so it's important to be patient and understanding.

Start the conversation by asking your loved one what they want their legacy to be. This can be a difficult question to ask, but it's important to give them the opportunity to share their wishes. Listen carefully to their answer and ask follow-up questions to ensure that you truly understand what they want.

If your loved one is struggling to articulate their wishes, offer some suggestions to get them started. For example, you could suggest creating a family tree, writing a family letter, or creating a photo album. These activities can help your loved one feel like they're leaving a lasting legacy and can also be a meaningful way for you to remember them.

Be sure to express your love and gratitude to your loved one. Let them know how much they mean to you and how you will cherish their memory after they're gone. This can be a difficult conversation, but it's also an opportunity to connect with your loved one on a deeper level and celebrate their life.

green heart shape

Here are some questions and ideas to help start the conversation:

  1. What local or global issues do you think are most important?
  2. Tell me about the organizations you regularly donate to and their mission.
  3. What do you believe is the biggest problem in our community, and how would you solve it if given the chance?
  4. How would you like people to remember you?
  5. What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind for your community?
  6. What matters to you most when it comes to making an impact on the world?
  7. What charities or causes do you give your time to, and what drives you to be a volunteer?
  8. How would you like your children/grandchildren/siblings to participate in your philanthropy?
  9. What advice would you give someone who wants to make a positive impact but doesn't know where to start?