When you are making plans to distribute your financial assets at the end of your life you may also be taking stock of your broader, deeper legacy as a human being. Anyone who has seen the movie It’s A Wonderful Life understands the fact that we play an integral role in the world around us. When you die you are not just erased from the picture…the entire picture changes. Death is inevitable and nothing to fear, but life is to be celebrated and chronicled so that others can benefit from the many things that you have learned along the way.
The way that you chronicle your life in celebration and sharing is by writing or recording your life story and making it part of your estate. The point is not to be self aggrandizing or didactic in this effort, but rather to share a sincere and heartfelt rendering of your life and times. Writing your autobiography is actually a selfless act that can be at once useful, instructive, entertaining, explanatory, and emotionally moving to the eventual readers while being cathartic for you as your life winds its way toward culmination.
We are all links between the future and the past. For example, your grandmother may have identified very strongly with her ethnic heritage, cooking in the traditional manner and keeping customs alive that she learned from her mother. You may be the only flickering ember that remains to remind succeeding generations of this family hearth. Writing your autobiography can connect your great-grandchildren with your grandmother and her mother before her, and making the effort to keep these roots intact is a worthy endeavor.
When you write your autobiography you also get the chance to provide your loved ones with the background information they need to fully understand you. And as you undertake the task, it is a sure bet that you will come away understanding yourself a lot better as well.
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