What It Takes to Live A Fulfilling Life and Leave an Inheritance Worth Remembering?
The Ultimate Plan for Life – Part 6
My father-in-law often speaks of leaving an inheritance. It gives him the motivation to live, build, grow and become the best version of himself for others. An inheritance does a couple of things: it leaves something for someone else and it gives you a reason to live and progress as long as you live. In this section we discuss what it means to leave more than just insurance money, but an inheritance.
Allow me to give you a behind the scenes peek into being African American as it relates to inheritance expectations. It’s not often that you hear of someone having an inheritance left for them or parents preparing to leave an inheritance for their children. In fact, the typical African American person doesn’t have much to fight over when someone passes away. Maybe the bills that remain and how one can avoid paying the debts of a deceased loved-one.
This lesson is not a lesson targeted towards attacking African American heritage, but rather a problem Pamela and I have with that concept and how we can change it for our family. That leads me to our friends, who we’ve written about in the past. They are big on family, legacy, and leaving an inheritance. They have plans (key phrase) for what they wish to leave for each of their children and grand-children, most of which is being built today moving forward. God has blessed them and they are in a position to be a blessing, but to do so required a plan.
On the flip-side, let me tell you about Pamela’s affluent aunt, you know that person you hear others say they wish they had, that rich great aunt or uncle that passes and leaves a family member their fortune? Pamela has one such great aunt and we absolutely love her. However, her plan for her estates haven’t been all ironed out. In fact, nothing’s in place to disseminate her estates until she passes and the will is revealed. The problem comes during the interim. What happens to the properties while she’s unable to care for them and no one has a right to them? Not to take away from our wonderful aunt, she’s done well and has inspired us to follow her example. We see the benefits that a more detailed plan can produce. Before we get into that, let me add one more point about legacy in the form of an inheritance.
A good life gets passed on to the grandchildren.
The Thought or Concept:
What will be said of your life?
Pamela and I visited the grand Biltmore Estates, the legacy and inheritance of the Vanderbilt family. It gave us a grand sense of what it meant to leave a physical inheritance, but more importantly an inheritance of legacy. This get-a-way location taught us what it means to leave a piece of ourselves behind for the benefit of future generations.
Pamela and I understand that material things aren’t everything, but instead are the results of a blessed lifestyle. Our plan is not to accumulate wealth or items for ourselves, but rather be generous to everyone on every occasion. You might not know this, but that kind of living takes hard work and a lot of money. However, we have a plan. This plan is to leave everyone we encountered during our earth journey better off having known us. The results of this endeavor will be left for our children and their children.
After spending time with Pamela’s aunt and our friends, they both have a few things in common. They’re all hardworking, generous, and loving people. Their reputations far outweigh the things they own and they give us an example worth following.
What inheritance do you want to leave?
This is a question we should all ask. You might not want to leave a dime for anyone, but that’s good to know so that you don’t spend your lifetime working on the wrong goal. However, if you desire to leave an inheritance, the sooner you define it, the sooner you can begin building your life and your legacy around it.
This brings me to the tactics we’re putting in place and ideas of tactics you may wish to put in place.
- Own something that you can leave to others.
This first level of our inheritance is leaving tangible items. What I mean by this is we’re going to own a home (or two) so that we can leave something we’ve owned. You’d think in a lifetime every person who desires to own something could? Sounds pretty simple if you ask me, so why not give it a try?
- Establish a business for your family.
Because Pamela and I have online platforms (a collection of websites), we get to leave what we’ve built in the form of resources, books, tools, and recordings as an inheritance. It’s our life’s work. Your life should produce something that no other life can or could produce. In fact, it’s one of the most important reasons as to why I write, teach, and share everyday of my life. This inheritance will live far beyond me and is an inheritance that can’t be valued; it’s priceless.
- Draft a will.
I don’t know many people who have a will, which means it’s uncommon. That’s reason enough for Pamela and me to have one. We choose to be uncommon human-beings, we want to leave a will, but more importantly leave behind enough that requires a will. These are goals that fuel how we live today. We do so not for what we can or will gain, but rather what it will make of us. A will is more than a piece of paper written on it, who gets what, but rather it’s a document that defines who we became in a lifetime.
- Setup beneficiaries of your life.
This one will sound a little strange. While beneficiaries are recipients of insurance policies and what a will has to offer and such; that’s not what I mean here. We want to have people who are benefactors of the life we lived. I have a special journal that I’m writing in for this purpose alone. I’m writing a principle or practice that I learned, one for each year I’ve lived. It’s my greatest life lessons to be passed down through time of what I learned and how it impacted my life. I’m doing this so that I leave a piece of me for generations to come. I pray Tamia uses it to read to her grandchildren as bedtime stories.
As an inheritance, we want to have impacted so many people that they live their lives remembering how we lived ours and they speak of us, our practices, and examples often. Let our life and what it stands for be a benefit to those we’ve done life with.
While this concept may be new to some and others may have not lived the life they’ve dreamed of, it’s not too late to make a plan and execute it. At this moment, Pamela and I are well on the way to having each of our goals here completed. Don’t misunderstand, we’re not close to the finish line yet, we’re just executing a solid plan day by day. If you don’t have a plan to leave an inheritance, you don’t have to worry about leaving one.
Today is Friday!
Find that friend or relative whom you admire and can follow their lead, that’s why they’re in your life. Take a moment and draft out the ideas you have for leaving an inheritance even if it’s only one item, but one item is all that’s needed to impact someone other than yourself. Form a plan around your idea(s) and work a lifetime to see it come to pass. Give your life to leaving an inheritance worth leaving. That my friend is the biggest memorial of you that can ever be erected.
Question: What example can you think of that inspires you to want to leave an inheritance?
Thanks for reading this lesson at Kerry A. Clark & Co. Make sure you subscribe to receive our email updates as well as follow us on your social networks. Until next Friday, let your inheritance goals become a part of your life, your business.