Are you the end of your line?
Family size has been shrinking since the beginning of the 20th century. Nuclear families are decreasing from parents and 3 kids to 2 kids to 1 kid and now approaching zero kids. Meanwhile extended families seem to be disappearing almost entirely. There are people who decide to stay single and do not form a family. There are people who had a family and that family now only consists of one individual due to divorce. Unexpected tragedy is another cause of shrinking family size.
What do you do when you are a family of one and you have a sizable wealth? Is this the end of the family line, the family legacy? Some people choose to enjoy life and spend all of their money. Other people decide that a charitable cause will benefit from his/her wealth and give it all away. Most people fall somewhere in between.
We feel alive as long as we live in people’s memory. How we will be remembered is important. How do you ensure that you are very alive in people’s memory? This is a big question, even for people who have children. What will your children remember about you and how long will they cherish those memories? Why will they remember you? How do you influence people around you to remember you the way you want to be remembered?
Should I have a building named after me? Should I have a foundation bearing my name? People often get fixated on preserving their family name. They recognize that the structure or entity that will represent the family name matters. Our name is the most important word and sound that we remember. Even from a distance, we hear our name when somebody calls it. Even subconsciously, we recognize our name.
We often hear from families that being the end of the line is an unbearable idea. Aster Family Advisors works with families and finds ways to “extend” the line. There are many creative ways to do this, focusing on continuing values rather than bloodline. Very often, establishing the right structure with missions based on the family’s strong ideals ensures the continuity of values. This encourages family members to stay affiliated.