To Ensure a Secure Legacy, Begin Estate Planning with the End In Mind

2 Steps to a Secure Legacy

Step 1: Begin with the End in Mind

The Legacy Tree represents the relationship between you, your family, and your advisors.

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  • A holistic plan that incorporates all aspects of wealth, tangible and intangible.
  • Consider all relationships and how you want to be remembered. e.g. as a father, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparent, and friend. Consider your mission and purpose.

Step 2: Implement a System …

  • …that will embrace and sustain all aspects of your goals
  • …that supports the pillars and practices of legacy
  • …that your children and grandchildren can readily accept
  • …that protects your legacy and family “brand” from internal weakness and outside influences
  • …that informs and guides your entities and charitable passions

A Tale of Two Trees

Estate Planning With The End In Mind - The Family Trust Institute

The Legacy Tree and the bonsai tree are evergreens. They remain green, vibrant, and healthy as long as they live. The two trees also have similar relationships with their masters. Each are here for only a small part of the journey, yet their legacy is enjoyed for hundreds of years.

They do not force the tree into something that isn’t true. The process is more important that the destination. Ultimately, the master does not “own” the tree, he only is the caretaker until the next generation is skilled enough to take their place.

10 Ways to a 50-Year Legacy

Properly planned and implemented, your legacy can exceed 50 years in the following ways:

  1. Through legacy pillars and practices, the template learned by your children and successfully passed to your grandchildren.
  2. In the joy, strength, and contributions of your family that would not have occurred but for your proactive efforts.
  3. In how your heirs relate to money, success and failure in the world.
  4. In the professional team and systems that make transition easier for your loved ones and enrich memories of appreciation for you.
  5. In the meaningful philanthropic ways you make the world a better place and share values and faith.
  6. Through Purposeful Documents™ by which your voice communicates faith, hope, love, values, and principles.
  7. Through your Legacy Letter of Intent, mission statement, financial philosophy, and related documents communicated to your descendants.
  8. Through the Legendary Thinking process that sustains itself and passes family legacy from generation to generation.
  9. In voice and video recordings, by which you share stories of your life that intimately reveal your thinking with grandchildren, descendants, and charitable support personnel.
  10. In your stories and heritage, especially as connected with personal property of emotional value.

Align the Spirit, Mind, and Heart of Your Family and Advisors

That’s all it takes to minimize the gravest legacy risks to your life’s work. Think about it. “What keeps you awake at night? Can any sleep-stealing issues overcome the alignment of your greatest assets?


  • Entitlement, immaturity and laziness
  • Failure to connect with family values
  • Economic challenges
  • Bad influences, habits and thinking, especially during periods of risk
  • Media influences; pop culture; some university culture
  • Heir unpreparedness Poor trust/communication Lack of purpose


  • Family and advisor focus together on mission and goal accomplishment
  • Best thinking practices and among family and advisors
  • Relationship strengthening and preparedness by and among family and advisors

Legacy Tree System

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Most Estate Plans Ignore Your Greatest Assets

Uniqueness of All Family Members   •   Imagination   •   Family Thinking
Individual Thinking   •   Faith, Love, Hope   •   Creativity   •   Mission and Purpose

Reinforce and coordinate these assets to ensure legacy success.

Your Mission, Goals, and Unique Journey

Your energy is focused by clarity of mission and goals. Attention to matters of importance and love often creates new energy. Engage your family and advisors in this process to receive increased rewards and enhanced advice. Consider the past to better understand the story of your future.

Relationship Strengthening

The unique human capital and journey of each family, combined with trust and communication-building, provides extraordinary opportunities for mutual support and success. Learned behavior, past-based conflict, and other blocks to relationship and preparedness need not permanently hinder the success of any member or family group. Advisor connections enhance preparedness.

Your Thinking

Your thinking frames the mindset of your legacy and family health. A winning legacy mindset is like others you have learned – once you have the information and insights. Sustain your family by teaching legacy thinking practices to future generations.

The Legacy Process


The Legacy Process was created to help you begin the process of creating a legacy that will last throughout the generations. It also provides the ground work of defining what is “true wealth” to you and your family.

Like the bonsai, your legacy is a living, breathing organism. With regular attention and care, you can create the kind of legacy that you’ve hoped for using the Legacy Process. One that will last and have meaning and purpose.

Learn more: The Legacy Process — A Generational Protection Plan


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