Posts Tagged ‘Video’

Bring new life to those old family films

by Steve Pender, video biographer & personal historian, Family Legacy Video, Inc.

At my Rotary meeting the other day, a fellow member turned to me and said, “Steve, I’ve got lots of home movies from the 40s and 50s. What I can do with them?” The answer: Lots!

If all you want to do is free your old 16mm, 8mm and Super 8mm films from the back closet and make it possible for you to view them again (without having to set up a screen and projector), have them transferred to DVD. You probably have a local company that’ll do this for you (check with photo developers or with companies advertising video production services). The great thing about this is you’ll be able to pop a DVD into your player and watch your long-ago relatives once again. The downside is that your movies might be transferred in no particular order. You may find yourself jumping decades forward and backward as the reels change. But if all you want to do is preserve your films, this option may be the one for you.

Another option: Use your films to tell stories. Instead of having your footage transferred directly to DVD, get it put on miniDV or Digital 8. These are formats that you’ll be able to use in conjunction with a computer that has digital video editing software. Once your films are on tape, review them. Think about the events they chronicle, the stories they bring to mind and the people they feature. Then transfer your films-on-video into your computer. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to use your films to tell some stories.

There are a number of techniques you can use. You and/or other family members can narrate the films, describing the events and the people as you see them on screen. You can interview family members on videotape and ask them questions about the events and people in the films. Then you can combine the interviews with the films, and with family photos, to create a family documentary. You can also incorporate titles, sound effects and music. Once you’re done, you can output the finished program to tape or burn your own DVD.

Be as creative as time and your ambition allow. Whatever you do, please realize that there’s no reason to let those old family films continue to collect dust. And if you’re not technically or creatively inclined, remember that Family Legacy Video is here to help.

Family Legacy Video and Financial Planning

By Katana Abbott, Certified Fiancial Planner and founder Designated Daughter

Almost 20 years ago, my mother remarried the most wonderful man who changed her life.  It was a marriage made in heaven… 20 years later; they were still in love at 86 and 72. 

Since I was a Certified Financial Planner, when they married, Dale asked me to do a financial plan; he was 72 and my mom was 58.  He created a living trust that gave my mother a life interest, but the principle transferred to his children at his death.  He also purchased life insurance and long term care for both him and my mom.  My mother’s long term care policy was $100/day with a 5% inflation rider and lifetime benefits. 

In the fall of 2005, at 86, Dale was diagnosed with lung cancer.    If we had left things the way he originally set them up, when they were first married, which was the typical joint ownership with rights of survivorship, his children would have been disinherited, my mother would not have had long term care insurance and would have used up all his assets.

Because his estate planning had been in place for years, and reviewed annually, we were able to focus on his quality of life and quality of care that last year. 

During the last three months of his life, Hospice was with us daily, we had moved his bed into the living room, so he could look out at the ducks on the pond.

The week before Dale died; he looked up at me and whispered, “You’re my miracle worker”.  I will never forget his words or the impact his planning has had on his loved ones lives.

He knew that he had done a great job; my mom was set for life and I know he had overheard us talking when we received the call from the insurance company that my mother had been approved for her long term care insurance claim.  She had recently been diagnosed with dementia and the insurance would provide her with up to $150/day for life—with an increasing benefit to keep up with inflation.  This was almost $55,000 a year of additional income that would be tax free.

Between her survivor pension and tax free long term care benefits, my mother was able to move into Sunrise Assisted Living without using any of her investment income.  In addition, we saw that she would probably never need the assets from my step father’s trust, so we made an immediate gift of $100,000 to his children who were just a few years younger than my mother. 

I am so thankful that Dale had agreed to do this planning decades before when they had many options, and were not under stress. 

I was able to play a video that I had taped of my step-father and mother for Dale’s children and grandchildren the Christmas after his death.  He still looked great in the video; the lake and flowers in the background were cheery as my step father told stories about his past, as well as stories about his father and grandfather.

His children may never have known these stories if I had not taped that video that day.  In addition, I came across some wonderful photos of his father and grandfather in northern Michigan working as loggers at the turn of the century.  I will be creating a professional legacy video this year and giving the video and some prints to his family this Christmas. 

I had always wanted to be able to do this for my clients during my 20 years as a financial planner, but I did not have this process in place at the time.

I think passing the story along with the money could help many financial and legal professionals develop a deeper relationship with their clients as well as with the next generation. 

What do you think?  What is your story?  I would love to hear from you!

Visit for an interactive on-line community featuring  the Designated Daughter Caregiving, Legacy and Aging Experts who work together as a team in the Designated Daughter Tea Room!