Legacy Project

5 Steps to Create Your Legacy Project

The Legacy Project’s five parts marry your own personal history, your family’s heritage and lets your family know your beliefs and wants for end-of-life care. Many have found that The Legacy Project works to identify what is most important to them—and helps them create a personal sense of symbolic immortality.

1. Ethical Will.

Creating an ethical will means writing down a personal written or dictated record of your family stories, philosophic thoughts, legacy, and goals. Ethical wills are a way to share your values, achievements, blessings, life’s lessons, hopes and dreams for the future, love, and forgiveness with your family, friends, and community. An ethical will is not considered a legal document as compared to a living will or last will and testament which are legal documents.

Ethical wills are not new. Initially, ethical wills were transmitted orally. Over time, they evolved into written documents. The Hebrew Bible first described ethical wills 3000 years ago (Genesis Ch. 49). References to this tradition are also found in the Christian Bible (John Ch. 15â€"18) and in other cultures. Written for succeeding generations, the ethical will offers an opportunity to add to personal family knowledge and history to express one’s life accomplishments, values, and legacy wishes for the family.

Create an Ethical Will…

2. Family Tree.

Many of us have either never completed a family tree or haven’t done so since grammar school. But creating an organized family tree provides a basic family history outline that can help prompt memories of early years, ancestors, and family stories. The process of creating a family tree has been made so much easier with the use of a personal computer, the Internet and commercial genealogy programs. Find out more about online programs that can help you create a family tree.

Your family’s experience may include additional events, history and information that you want to include such as dates of marriage or migration from one country to another. Additionally by including any medical history you know of for ancestors and family members, you provide very valuable familial hereditary information and potential future guidance for prevention of medical illnesses (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and cancer) and can help make a genetic reconstruction of your family’s heredity.

Create a Family Tree…

3. Record the Family History.

Put together stories and examples of past and current generations using the family tree as a guide. The family stories can be linked to various persons on the family tree, describing their relationship to the storytellers and their family. Have family history interviews follow a similar pattern, including, for example, name, age, relationship, birthplace, marriage (wife or husband or partner), birth day, where they lived, list of parents, grandparents and children and stories about each.

After conducting a Legacy Project Interview, editing tools are easily to find either online, where many are free, or by purchasing software for your personal computer. You can then make multiple copies of the final DVD for your loved ones. Video recordings from the interview can be combined with photographs of ancestors and relations, and edited to reflect the family growing up. Older movie films and recordings can be retrieved and added to future films and video recording segments can be converted to DVDs as the generations continue to grow and mature.

Photographic stores, copy stores, and many pharmacies provide reproduction services for those wishing to make multiple copies of family photographs. Walgreens, for example, will transfer videotape, movie film, slides and photographs or other printed documents to digital files on DVDs.

Learn how to conduct a Legacy Project Interview…

4. Create a Personal Scrapbook.

A scrapbook can contain pictures, literature, documents and articles about the family history and important events. All pictures, documents and articles can be saved by digital photo scanning, saving memories for future generations which otherwise might be lost. Separate albums can be created for individual family segments, for instance, by generation or specific branch of the family line.

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5. Create a Legacy of Love.

A Legacy of Love will provide your friends and family with clear decisions and planned social, legal, financial, and end-of-life arrangements to spare your survivors an inheritance of scattered papers and countless confusing details. A Legacy of Love includes preparing advanced directives that spell out your wishes for healthcare, a legal will along with an explanation of where your important documents are kept and how they should be handled.

Some people may also choose to complete end-of-life forms: funeral arrangements, obituary instructions, and a list of persons to notify when deceased.

By looking after these important matters as a part of your legacy plan, you will help reduce family decision conflicts as they can follow your instructions and you will have the knowledge that your wishes will be carried out.

Learn All the Steps to Creating a Legacy of Love…