FPMG Identifies Ethical Wills as Legacy-Creating Vehicles for the Beginning of 2013

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While some people see the start of a new year as an opportunity to make resolutions, others may consider this a good time to think about their legacy, as another year has passed. FPMG, a performance management firm, believes creating an ethical will on January 1, 2013 can be the best way to ensure heirs understand who their benefactor was as well as provide specific advice or guidance.

FPMG Identifies Ethical Wills as Legacy-Creating Vehicles

FPMG Identifies Ethical Wills as Legacy-Creating Vehicles

When most people write a will, they typically focus on how their material goods will be distributed. While those instructions will provide an invaluable roadmap, they stop short of addressing something people should be concerned about: their legacy.

While some people see the start of a new year as an opportunity to make resolutions, others may consider this a good time to think about their legacy, as another year has passed. FPMG, a performance management firm, believes creating an ethical will on January 1, 2013 can be the best way to ensure heirs understand who their benefactor was as well as provide specific advice or guidance.

“When most people sit down to write a will, they typically focus on how their material goods will be distributed after their death,” said Denise Federer, Ph.D., FPMG’s founder. “While those instructions will provide an invaluable roadmap for those who will inherit, they stop short of addressing something people should be concerned about: their legacy.”

A recent study conducted by Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., a gerontologist, psychologist and educator, found that almost 80% of parents and their adult children believe the most important issue concerning inheritance is parents sharing values and life lessons. That’s right; heirs are more interested in learning about legacies than who gets the silver.

How do people go about defining their legacy? How do they want to be remembered? What will their lasting influence be on both a business and personal level? The answer to the first question—creating an ethical will—facilitates providing long-lasting value to families, businesses (if applicable) and even communities.

How should people get started? Here are a few questions to answer:

  •     Who are the three people who are most important to them and why?
  •     What are their top five values?
  •     What’s the accomplishment they’re most proud of and why?
  •     What are three words they’d like to have said about themselves?
  •     What worries them most about the future for themselves and the next generation?
  •     What do they want their children and future generations to know about them, in particular their values, lessons learned, and life experiences?

Once those questions have been answered, FPMG notes that people can move on to the actual process of writing their ethical will. It won’t be a legal document, but it can provide heirs with information such as how the author became who he is and what his life’s main influences were.

Those who own a business will want to create a business/leadership transition document in which they can:

  •     Share a historical perspective of the business and industry
  •     Identify critical issues in the business that need to be addressed
  •     Share a vision of the future for the business and industry
  •     Outline specific business expectations for the future

“By thinking about your legacy—making an in-depth assessment of who you are and passing it along—you’ll be providing your heirs with a treasured gift that will resonate long after you’re gone,” Federer said. “It’s a gift so powerful that you can’t place a specific monetary value on it—but it’s surely worth its weight in gold.”

About FPMG
FPMG is a Florida performance management consultancy dedicated to guiding successful people to be their best. Based in Tampa, we help you uncover the non-financial issues that impact the bottom line. FPMG offers consulting for family business problems, financial advisors legacy advising, leadership development, and more.

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Denise Federer, Ph.D.
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