I remember growing up as a child being very close to my grandmother. We used to visit her in old Jerusalem every summer and I would look forward to hearing her stories of bravery about our grandfather during world war I. I was particularly fond of hearing about their love story and how they enjoyed riding their horses every afternoon until sunset, stories of endurance and stories of survival throughout the conflicts in that part of the world.
In one of the stories, I was told that immediately after the war; my grandfather became a merchant for a while trading silk & fabrics to the Arab peninsula in exchange for perfumes and incents back to Jerusalem. This generated enough capital to buy significant acreage of a farm; a dream that they both had and a dream that had finally come true.
As everyone else at the time, my grandfather was distrustful of banks, and as his wealth grew, he kept his wealth in gold and kept that buried on his land in a place only known to him and my grandmother in pots of gold. The entire family knew of this and it was accepted that as the children got older, the location of the family fortune would be passed to the next generation. As my grandmother told the story before she passed away, and as her memory could vaguely serve, she would describe the landmarks they would pass and lay out steps that lead to where the gold was (stream, head east, building, head toward so and so’s house .. etc). That information was verbally given to their children as well.
Unfortunately, with more conflict erupting in that region, landmarks used to identify earlier locations were no longer clearly identifiable. My grandparents have passed away, my father just passed away recently after giving up on finding the family fortune and I cannot help but wonder how differently things would have turned out if there was a service available to hold a map or coordinates of a location for as long as needed regardless of events or elapsed time until a designated delivery trigger such as a specific date or demise of a person requires it to be sent to a recipient or more.
As I tell this story to more and more people, I am surprised by how many people had similar stories about family secrets or stories that were lost. Estate planning, digital asset management, legacy trusts and legacy management overall are extremely important aspects that most of us do not usually think of as part of our busy day to day life.
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