History as a tool of wealth education
“Successful families tell and retell the family’s most important stories.”
Wealth in Families
Family history is often overlooked as a component of wealth education, stewardship, and planning. Yet talking about history with family members across generations can help facilitate a deeper understanding of the past, encourage an intergenerational perspective, and sustain your family legacy now and in the future.
Five recommendations for sharing your family history
- What's in a name?
Tell your children stories about their names — first, middle, and last.
- Were they named after someone special?
- How was their name chosen?
- What is the ethnicity of their surname?
- Celebrating traditions
Explore the experiences and memories that hold the most meaning for you, your children, and your grandchildren.
- What are your favorite traditions?
- Are there special foods and activities that your family enjoys together?
- Are they faith-based? Related to your heritage?
- Do any of them include places that are important in your history, such as a family home or a beloved retreat
- Passing down family treasures
Consider and convey the meaning beyond some of the stories and objects you treasure.
- Do all of your family members know the “who and how” of your family’s wealth?
- Are historic photographs or objects related to your family or business story on display in your home, office, or online?
- Have you made provisions to pass down treasured heirlooms to current or next generation family members?
- Telling your own story
Family history is not only about your ancestral roots, but also your own life story.
- Do rising generation family members know stories from your childhood, school years, and family and working life?
- Have you communicated openly about the roles and responsibilities you’ve fulfilled?
- Has you family history and life story informed your financial education activities with family members?
- Connecting history, values, and giving
History can help individuals and families clarify their core values — in the past and present.
- Does your family have a mission statement?
- Does your family’s mission statement reflect your history and/or values?
- How do you live these values through the way you allocate your time, effort, and money?