I recently attended a Continuing Legal Education seminar regarding estate planning, and while attending the presentations, I could not help but think about the difference in passing on a legacy versus simply transferring wealth and assets. As a colleague of mine says, “An estate plan is what you leave behind, but legacy planning determines what you pass on.”
A Young Sports Star Remembered
If you live in Kansas City or are a football fan, then you know that the Kansas City Chiefs had a tremendous season leading all the way to the “Big Game.” Patrick Mahomes is the bright young star of the team and he reminds me of another young, rising star that also played ball in Kansas City, Yordano Ventura. Ventura was a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals during the tremendous back-to-back World Series appearances and Championship in 2015 this last decade. Tragically, he died in a car accident on January 22, 2017 and was only 25 years old, the same age of Patrick Mahomes. Ventura had such a bright professional future ahead of him, only to have it cut short.
So, what did young Ventura leave behind? Royals fans likely have the memories of his fiery 100 mph fastball and equally fiery temperament. The baseball historians will note his amazing 7-inning shutout performance in game 6 of the 2014 World Series. And, of course, his teammates will never forget his icy stare on the mound and genuine smile in the dugout.
But more importantly, what did Ventura pass on? What will be his legacy for his family and young daughter? It was clear that the Dominican Republic community from which he originated had been impacted by Ventura. During his funeral procession the kids in his town dawned royal blue shirts and hats. Many of them probably dream of becoming a major league baseball player like their hero, Ventura.
Focusing on True Legacy
This is where legacy wins over the transaction of an estate. Ventura’s dedication inspired his home community, and his personality made him loved by his teammates. At the end of life, it does not matter if you were a great baseball player or the richest person on earth. When your family and friends stand in front of the casket, they will not remember the baseball statistics or numbers on a financial statement. What will endure are the values, character, and faith that you have passed on during your lifetime.
Have you ever had a conversation with your clients about their legacy? What will they leave behind and what will they pass on? Having these conversations with clients can drastically set your practice apart and make them understand that you truly care about their family, vision, and personal legacy. Being a seasoned voice for both the estate and their values can often lead to a stronger network and happier families.
The Signatry can provide valuable resources to help with estate planning, family legacy conversations, and putting actual plans in place. Please contact me and we can start the conversation.