Take Charge of Your Legacy

Legacy is a word we use often – though not lightly – at the Community Foundation.  Through philanthropy, we make sure people are remembered long after they are gone. Perhaps they were young, and an unexpected tragedy led grieving parents to our doors? Or, after a long, vibrant, successful run, someone sat down with their attorney to draft a thoughtful will carefully naming every loved one and charity they loved during their life.

No matter what your age or income level, you have a legacy to leave.  But how often do we take a moment to talk about how we want to be remembered… especially when we are young and hope to have decades ahead of us?  These are awkward topics, made even more challenging by loving family members who don’t want to consider a life without us by their side.

Fortunately, there are experts out in the world thinking about how to make these conversations and plans easier to manage.  At our recent luncheon for professional advisors, keynote speaker Amy Florian, one of those experts, shared a tool that we should all consider called Five Wishes.

This inexpensive-to-order packet, found at www.agingwithdignity.org, is “an easy to use legal document written in everyday language that lets adults of all ages plan how they want to be cared for in case they become seriously ill.”

Also according to www.agingwithdignity.org, Five Wishes lets your family and doctors know:

·         Who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can't make them.

·         The kind of medical treatment you want or don't want.

·         How comfortable you want to be.

·         How you want people to treat you.

·         What you want your loved ones to know.

There is even a companion document, Voicing My Choices, for adolescents and young adults.

As your Community Foundation, we promise we will do our best to make sure the community you love remembers you and all the wonderful ways you contributed during your lifetime.  With something like Five Wishes in our hands, we will never have to guess what mattered to you.   We will carry on the legacy you want to leave behind.