Ever since Caroline could remember, her father, Rick, would tell stories about people he’s met, things he’s done, and places he’s been. Rick was blessed with an insatiable curiosity about people and their lives, and he captured everyone’s undivided attention each time he told stories of his life experiences.
Rick was recently diagnosed with dementia, and he’s beginning to forget some of his amazing stories. Caroline would really like for her young children to one day hear about their grandfather and the awesome life he lived. But how? Now, at the Farr Law Firm, we are offering our clients a way to easily capture and pass on their personal legacies . . . and best of all, we are offering this as a gift to all of our clients, whether you’re a current client, a future client, or even a past client! Estate planning has always been about passing on a financial legacy. At the Farr Law Firm, we believe that for some clients, passing on a personal historical legacy is of equal if not greater importance than leaving a financial legacy.
The Living Legacy project
In 2008, Dennis Stack and Tom Cormier founded the Living Legacy Project, to provide families with free education and tools to record and pass down legacy stories. The award-winning LegacyStories.org website and companion mobile app were developed for this purpose. The website is easy to use and can capture your memories in several ways:
1. Write Legacy Stories
Using the Legacy Stories Website and mobile App, you can compose, organize, preserve, and share your legacy stories with your own Legacy Story Blog. This is the ideal solution to preserve and share your heirloom recipes, family traditions, legacy letters, poetry, wishes for the future, wisdom statements, and life lessons and values.
Legacy Stories’ Web and mobile App platforms makes it easy and comes with a full suite of features, many not found anywhere else. All you have to do is “reminisce with purpose” and:
● type legacy stories about your ancestors, childhood, marriage and family, education and career, military experience, faith and spirituality, special memories and more;
● use legacy story prompts as memory triggers to recall important milestones, defining moments, and important people in your life;
● create multiple life chapters for your story posts;
● drag and drop chapters and posts to sequentially arrange by life stage, chronologically or otherwise;
● add dimension to your stories with photos, audios and videos that can capture easily through your computer;
● discriminately share each story with five different audiences; private, family, friends, family and friends, or contribute to the Legacy Stories public library;
● link stories about ancestors to over 12 billion records in FamilySearch, the official “Family Tree of Humankind”;
● convert story posts to .pdf to print and save.;
● share story posts on popular social media platforms;
● build a following of subscribers to interact with your Legacy Story Blog.
Whether assisting an elder, a loved one in care, or preserving your own legacy stories, all you need to do to get started is create your LegacyStories.org account through the Farr Law Firm and then start reminiscing with purpose!
2. Curate Old Photos
Before the digital revolution, families saved an average of 3,000 photos in albums and shoe boxes, many representing the visual record of life-defining moments, milestones, and special people. Today, our phones, tablets, and computers are filled with digital images.
Many grandchildren are no longer interested in looking at tens of thousands of your photos to find the important ones, those that can give them a sense of who they are and what life was like in your time. Legacy Stories’ Slide Shows component is a sanctuary where you can curate, preserve and share your highest-priority “legacy photos” in a format that helps future generations learn about their family history.
If used for photos alone, your Legacy Portfolio (1GB) has enough storage capacity for about 5,000 vintage family photos.
With the Legacy Slide Show component, you can use your computer or the mobile App to:
● create slide show albums depicting life-defining moments, milestone events, special people, etc.;
● drag and drop photos inside slide show albums to appear chronologically or otherwise;
● use your computer or, much simpler, use the microphone on your phone, to record your voice while describing the people, places, or the story behind the photo.
3. Record Oral Histories
When it comes to telling legacy stories, the spoken word is incomparable. When you combine a treasured family photo with a recorded audio narration, you get the best of both worlds by preserving the image and capturing your voice, personality, dialect, and attitude.
With the Legacy Stories App on your phone, you can easily scan the old photo, upload it for preservation, and then simply click “record” to share your memories about the photo — who’s in it, where was it taken, what were you doing at the time, what special memories does the photo evoke? Then, when your children or grandchildren go to the website and view that photo, they will hear your vocal narrative while looking at the photo. What a priceless gift you have now created for future generations.
It’s rare to find a secure place online to preserve and share your audio recordings, but now you can add these valuable oral histories to your legacy portfolio and:
● create multiple albums to organize recordings by life events;
● drag and drop recording tracks to display chronologically or otherwise;
● discriminately share each individual recording with five different audiences and on popular social network platforms;
● automatically notify subscribing friends and family when new recordings are uploaded.
Learn more about the Legacy Stories App here.
Now, in connection with creating your Revocable Living Trust and other Estate Planning documents, The Farr Law Firm can help you leave your loved ones with something much more than just money and assets. If you are a current or former client of the Farr Law Firm and would to create your own Legacy Story, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will provide you with a link for you to get started. If you are not yet a client of our firm, please contact us to set up an appointment for a no-cost initial consultation:
Fairfax Elder Law: 703-691-1888
Fredericksburg Elder Law: 540-479-1435
Rockville Elder Law: 301-519-8041
DC Elder Law: 202-587-2797