Republished from The Fifth Chapter Blog, original date 10/29/11, Updated 4/28/22
I have finished my Saturday chores. A practice that still evokes my mother busily catching up on cleaning after a week of full-time work and prodding me to do the same. She always told me her mother said, “Do your duties before you play” so I could not go out and play until we were finished! I learned to get the chores out of the way quickly!
A Mother’s Legacy
I can’t say it is a pleasant Saturday memory, but I passed it on to my children as well. Of course, I tried to make it more fun. We had a “chore” box. Whoever got started first could choose their job. Also, the chores helped them fill up a bead jar to earn beads for movies. They learned how to get through the fewest chores for the most movie time. For a while, I wasn’t sure they had learned to clean up after themselves, much less clean a house. Then came college and roommates and “Oh, wow, I can’t believe how sloppy other people live.” Voila, they now have cleaning days and seem to like it.
If I were to think about the legacy my mother will leave, the Saturday cleaning day will be an aspect of her legacy. If she had been thinking about legacy planning, I wonder if “chores” would have made her list. I know it wouldn’t make mine; but it has already been passed on. And, really what’s not to like about a clean house once in a while?
A Fiduciary’s Legacy
Sometimes the work of a fiduciary feels like those chores. We pay the bills, we pay the taxes, we call and spend hours navigating the phone company to make sure our clients have a phone, we organize paperwork, and update our accounting. We do this to make sure our client’s are cared for and their assets are protected.
The way we build our practice and go about our work leaves a legacy with families and others. A legacy is built over time; one choice at a time. It also takes vision or a dream to inspire us to do the work of creating a succession plan.
50 Years From Now
My dad used to tell me when I was upset, “50 years from now, its not going to make any difference”. Well dad, that is only sort of true. When we imagine what kind of world we want to see 50 years down the road, we can touch off a spark. Where our hopes and dreams take on life and become something new in the next generation. We choose our own legacy by living an intentional life; doing what we value; following through on our commitments; and, offering something from our “well of riches” to help others. What we do in the next 5 minutes can change the world. Now, where did I put those reusable grocery bags?
What do you imagine 50 years from now?
What will you do in the next 5 minutes to seed this vision?
If you are a professional fiduciary, reach out to us to let us help you develop your succession plan.