I talked to Cindy earlier this week about the Legacy Network. Cindy is a 55 year old retiree who lives with her husband Bob in Redding, California. I first met Cindy and Bob last spring when the Rotarian Club at Redding hosted me and a number of international scholars. When I asked her if end of life planning was an issue, she told be that it is a big problem especially in her family. Her aunt’s greatest fear was that her sons would fight over her stuff. It has been 2 years since her aunt passed away and the two sons do not talk to each other. The problem with traditional wills and trusts is that they can be static and difficult to keep updated. The cost and inconvenience of contacting an attorney may shy people away from making alterations to their documents even when the documents no longer reflect reality.
Another important aspect is the meaning embedded into the process. There are many people who would like to leave a personal message to their loved ones but never get the opportunity to. Imagine your great grandchildren who will never meet you but through the stories that you leave behind, they would be able to understand your life and your personality. This service can be beneficial to family members whom it would be awkward to discuss this topic with, but with the privacy of this service are empowered to send messages to loved ones.
As we proceed with more customer interviews and begin building our service, we must not forget that we are not merely creating a business but also generating value and adding meaning to people’s lives. Our first task, which is probably the most difficult, is to start the conversation.