Whether we make the choice or not, we’re all leaving a legacy behind. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to be “rich” to leave behind a legacy that positively impacts the lives of others. Sometimes the simplest gestures live on through future generations. Did you know that you can take steps to secure how you’re remembered as well as what you’re remembered for? Literally for the price of a decent pair of shoes, a platform at CheckOutPlan.com will help you build an impactful legacy that your family and friends.
Leaving a legacy is an act of responsibility of creating permanence. Caring people don’t simply leave behind good or bad memories. Instead, they create their legacies by building a life founded upon caring enough about others to leave something meaningful and positive behind. When it’s time to depart, what can you leave behind?
Consider the following 10 questions as you assess what kind of legacy may be the best for you:
- What do you want your life to stand for?
- How do you want to be remembered by your family and friends?
- What will those beyond your circle of family and friends remember you for?
- What kind of an impact do you want to have on your community?
- How will the world be a better place because you were in it?
- What contributions do you want to make to your field?
- Whose lives will you have touched?
- What lessons would you like to pass on to future generations?
- What do you want to leave behind?
- How can you serve?
And now, here are some examples of how you can leave a legacy that benefits your community and the world at large and how CheckOutPlan.com makes it easy:
1. Sharing beneficial knowledge
Contributing knowledge that continues to be implemented after the individual’s passing might seem like a tall order, but it isn’t.
This could take the form of sharing beneficial knowledge with the right intention. It could be a principle someone lived by and taught others to follow such as “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” It might be day-to-day mannerisms that those around us learn and follow, and pass on to others. All kinds of beneficial knowledge—big or small—with the right intention, can count towards the value you leave behind.
Perhaps your knowledge could take the shape of a book you author, delivering fresh insights or new takeaways in your field of interest or specialization. Think about this: How many of us really contribute knowledge of valuable and perpetual relevance to others? If you have something of value to say and share, make it so! Now, an easier approach is to share your knowledge in the “Making Memories,” of CheckOutplan.com. This section helps you build a complete legacy of who you are and how you want to be remembered… And then share it with the people most important to you…It’s that easy!
2. Create something of ongoing benefit
An ongoing benefit essentially means creating a ceaseless/ongoing form of charity. There are many accessible and impactful activities that one can do that will continue to circulate benefit beyond our existence, and that continues to benefit humanity long after they are gone.
Some examples of an ongoing benefit are:
Buy a life insurance policy for someone special
There are many options to life insurance policies but talk to an insurance broker about a policy where you take care of the lifetime payments. The policy will have an accruing cash value and the beneficiary can borrow against it.
Pre-purchase a memorial park bench and/or trees
These are relatively inexpensive and can be appreciated and enjoyed by many generations to come. A commemorative park bench provides a spot to rest and relax and is usually placed in a location with a view. The bench is a welcome place to stop and rest for people out for a casual walk or even the more energetic hiker. The memorial tree provides beauty and shade to the passersby and contributes to the health of our planet and ecosystem. As well, the contribution may also be tax deductible. Contact your local city or municipality for more information.
Leave money, tools or knowledge for your descendants
These serve as a foundation on which they can build their financial futures. A will, living will or end-of-life plan will let your family, your lawyer and the government know your intentions. Ok, for this one, you’ll need a bit of dough.
Write down family recipes and family traditions
At least as valuable as money, leaving behind a map on how things were done in the past will be invaluable to future generations. Do you have a favourite scones recipe, or a favourite way to celebrate Christmas? The “Making Memories” section at CheckOutPlan.com is designed for this purpose.
Pass down heirlooms such as handmade items, quilts, cedar hope chests, or wooden crafts
Add these items to CheckOutPlan.com “Taking Stock” section and share the plan with family to ensure that valued possessions or family heirlooms don’t end up in the “Donations” box.
Pass down skills, language, traditions and knowledge
Again, the true wealth of any family is the bridge to the memory and knowledge of those who came before. Technology such as the easy to use “Making Memories” section provides a myriad of ways to record and share this valuable information.
3. Write a Just-in-Case letter
Write down everything you’d want to tell your loved ones if you knew you didn’t have long to live. Check-Out’s Having “The Talk” section helps you capture the essence of who you are by encouraging you writing about your life lessons, values, accomplishments and hopes. Think of it as an emotional heirloom. You can also record video messages for your loved ones or create a memorial scrapbook for them. Use the tools in CheckOutPlan.com to write and store your letter, videos and digital scrapbook material.
4. Leave a legacy quotation
Whether you write it yourself or utilize the vast body of inspiration quotes out there, a legacy quotation can succinctly provide comment on who you are, or what you stand for.
Legacy quotes can be incorporated into many elements of your end-of-life celebrations or memorial including on a gravesite marker, in your eulogy, on the memorial program guide.
Here are some legacy quotes for inspiration:
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”Benjamin Franklin
“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best.”Robert Baden-Powell
“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”Chuck Palahniuk
5. Build an institution with significant social impact
This one’s going to take some substantial coin. Institutions, if properly established and administered, help our communities and long outlast our existence. For those who have the means, building real institutions instead of internally-focused contributions is a legacy with significant social impact. It’s easy to start looking for opportunities to make an impact that lasts long beyond our lifetimes.
Some examples of worthy institutions are:
- The David Suzuki Foundation
- Jane Goodall Institute
- Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
- Sea Shepard Foundation
There are so many worthy causes that need our help! A web search for “Top-Rated Charities” will help you discover institutions that align with your values.
6. Whole body or organ/tissue donation
While this kind of contribution might not be easily recognized by the world at large, to the person whose lives you will impact, and their family, it can be of massive significance. There are many stories of families doing their best to honor the person whose contribution has allowed the life of their loved one to improve or continue.
Most of us strive to live moral, healthy lives without harming others – and when possible, helping others. We are stewards of this world; and we ought to leave it better than we found it. When you donate in the true spirit of helping others, you’re helping yourself, too. Everyday lived well, with a sense of purpose, and with the goal to help others increases your happiness and wellness. What will your legacy be? What will live on after you’re gone? Live your best life by creating a legacy you can be proud of. As you can see here, monetary wealth is NOT required to make a difference in the lives of others after you’re gone.
A CheckOutPlan helps people plan for the unexpected and share their memories with family and friends. Take stock of your life, share your stories and ensure your wishes are followed. Visit CheckOutPlan.com to get started today.
About Check-Out Planning Services Ltd.
Our company is comprised of a tightly knit team of like-minded professionals, supported by a group of dedicated industry consultants, mentors, family and friends. We are passionate about helping families maker a plan for the unexpected – To prevent the kind of chaos and loss that occurs when life takes a difficult turn. Find CheckOutPlan on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The concept for Check-Out came about when the founder’s Mother passed away suddenly one Sunday morning. Without preparation, discussion or planning, the process that followed was simply heart-wrenching… What would she have wanted? How would she want to be remembered? What to do with the possessions that accumulate over 70+ years of life? CheckOutPlan.com is designed to answer those challenges and to reduce the pain our family endured. May your family find comfort in the guidance provided by CheckOutPlan.
– Check-Out Plan is approved by the Better Business Bureau™
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Bella Wanana is the blogger behind bellawanana.com, a personal finance and lifestyle blog. She loves sharing with her readers the best tips and tricks on personal finance and how to live a balanced but fulfilling life. She is also a freelance writer, and she has been featured on sites like MSN.com, Reader’s Digest, The Financial Diet, Yahoo Finance, and GOBankingRates.