It doesn’t take much to capture valuable memories—just a notepad and pen, or your smartphone. While you could write down all the answers, it might be easier and more fun to record them for future generations to hear and see! Other than that, our best advice is to be open and honest about your thoughts and experiences. While recording your memories might feel a bit forced at first, you’ll be surprised at how easy it flows once you get started.
The following questions will get you going. Keep in mind that you don’t need to answer all of them in one sitting; this guide can be used over the course of months or even years. You can decide your own pace, as well as any other questions that come to mind. If your children want to participate, the process can be even more fun. Have them use this guide to interview you or be inspired to ask their own questions.
1. Wisdom Questions
What values are most important for you to express and pass on to your family?
- How have these values helped you in your life?
- How did you learn these values?
- What’s a good way to teach them to kids?
Who are your heroes? Why?
What do you admire about your kids?
What do you look for in a good friend?
What has helped you most throughout your life?
- Which books?
- Who in your family, group of friends, and mentors?
- Which skills, knowledge, and behaviors have been the most helpful?
- Which organizations?
What are some of the best financial decisions you’ve made?
- How about your best financial habits or practices?
- Where did you learn about money? What are some of the lessons that you picked up?
2. Questions About Your Life
What are you most proud of in your life?
What would you change if you could do everything over again?
What would you like people to think when they think about you?
What do you know about your family history?
What special things or memories do you have from your mom or dad?
What was your favorite job?
What are some of your most memorable stories? Think about when you were . . .
- Falling in love
- Raising your children
- Visiting or living in interesting places
- Growing up
- Going through moments of joy, sadness, struggle, or success
- Taught a valuable lesson
- Proudest of each child
3. Questions About the Future
What do you hope to do or see that you haven’t yet experienced? What would you like to experience again?
What about your family makes you the most proud?
- What steps can you take as a family to replicate that feeling?
If you wake up at 2:00 a.m. and can’t fall back to sleep, what thoughts are likely keeping you awake?
What is most important to you about where you live now, and if you wand to or had to move, what are your top considerations for where you would go next?
What plans do you have in place for your medical care if something were to happen?
- Do you have a durable power of attorney?
- Does it clearly state your current wishes?
Are you satisfied with your will?
- Is it up to date, signed, and in a safe place?
- Do you have any advice for family members who are creating a will?
Is there anything others can do to help you? Or is there something others should start helping with so that they can learn more about it?
This valuable record never has to be “closed”; you can always share more about the life you have led, the lessons you’ve learned, and your plans for the future. The key is that you record what’s most important to you. As those who have completed the process have found, creating this gift for future generations is well worth the effort.
This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a tax preparer, professional tax advisor, or lawyer.
Chris Gullotti is a financial advisor located at Canby Financial Advisors, 161 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01701. He offers securities and advisory services as an Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. He canb can be reached at 508.598.1082 or [email protected].
© 2018 Commonwealth Financial Network®