Minnesota residents who are thinking about what they would like to leave for future generations might be able to learn lessons from a morality play from the 15th century called “Everyman”. While the story is meant to discuss the importance of salvation, it also illustrates the two primary things that people want to leave behind for their loved ones.
In the story, Everyman is an allegorical figure that represents humankind. When it is time for him to face his judgment, he asks other allegorical figures to go with him on his journey. Of all of the figures who he asks, only Good Deeds and Knowledge agree. Once he dies, however, Knowledge is unable to follow him, leaving Good Deeds alone to accompany him on his journey.
In the context of legacy and estate planning, the story can be read as a way to inform planning. When people pass away, the two primary things that they want to leave behind for their loved ones are the remembrance of their good deeds and the knowledge that they have to impart. People might be able to leave both for their loved ones by using their estate plans to form new companies or other ventures that can leave lasting memories for generations to come.
Estate and legacy planning can involve deep considerations about the impacts that people want to have on others after they are gone. They might want to discuss their ideas with their estate planning attorneys in order to understand how they might be able to plan them successfully. An attorney might help clients with drafting the documents that may be needed so that the clients’ wishes are followed and potential conflicts are avoided.