The Family Wealth Trust secures more than money and property – it also protects your memories. Many tools exist to preserve the moments from family holidays, birthdays and vacations. Scrapbooks, videos, journals, and family trees become part of the trust to be passed through the ages. Each generation can add their own memories to the trust for the entire family to cherish. Heirs enjoy knowing the joys and the sorrows their family has lived through, and a strong family history gives the family members a strong sense of self.
Try these record-keeping tools for securing the family moments and history:
One of the best tools for preserving the memories of your family through the ages is a scrapbook. Scrapbooks contain photos, papers and little bits of nostalgia collected from events and family members. Scrapbook making parties can bring together family members with their collected photographs, documents and little items saved from a moment in time. The family arranges the page layouts, swaps photos and supplies, all while swapping stories. If family members are miles apart, they can create virtual scrapbooks online.
Stories written in the penmanship of ancestors; fountain pens to ink pens to gel pens. The end of the pages yellow with age, and the books become treasured vaults of ancestors’ stories. A handwritten journal provides the reader with the innermost thoughts and experiences of the writer. Events are captured in a way no photograph could relate. These journals often record more than family events, they record moments of world events. Imagine reading an ancestor’s Civil War experiences or learning what a great-grandfather felt about being so far from his wife and children during wartime.
If you don’t know where to start with a journal, many bookstores carry guided journals with question prompts and space to write your responses. Sometimes the prompts jog your memory into remembering so much more than free-form writing.
Tracing the family tree can involve tracing the family genealogy through the ages. Some discover interesting relatives important to the history of the country; others find out they are related to royalty. Studying the genealogy of your family gives you insight as to where, and whom, you came from. By researching the family’s origins family members might also research the times and conditions in which they lived. Children can relate the history lessons in school to the history of their family.
A wonderful gift to your family after you pass on is a video recording of you telling family stories. Family members have a piece of you to view and treasure forever as you relate stories of your childhood, adolescent years and adulthood. These stories become treasures for telling again and again, and there is no asking, ‘how’d that story go?’
In whatever way you choose to document and preserve your memories for future generations, involving your family can allow them to contribute their own stories and memories and make a great foundation for your Family Wealth Trust.