Legacy Foundry was born from the desire to answer one very difficult question: how can we help people overcome their fear of discussing death?
There are no easy answers to this. We’re biologically hard-wired to avoid confronting anything related to mortality, including conversations about estate planning or the type of medical care we would want in a life-threatening emergency.
Of course, avoiding these issues until it’s too late simply doesn’t work. When an unexpected emergency arises, the overwhelming majority of families discover that they have never really discussed the logistics of their medical wishes or estate plans. As a result, stress skyrockets, family members begin to fight with each other, wealth transfers fail, and estates fall apart.
Sean Kennedy, our co-founder, looked this issue directly in the eye when he received a cancer diagnosis in his late 20s. He was forced to learn just how challenging it is to start the conversation about the important logistical and emotional steps required to prepare for a medical emergency.
Fortunately, Sean recovered. But he never forgot just how hard it was for him – as well as the other cancer patients he got to know – to have these conversations. When Sean attended an entrepreneurial program called 10.10.10, his determination to address this problem grew. He discovered that families’ avoidance of end-of-life planning not only takes an emotional toll on families, but also a financial one: in more than 70% of families, inherited wealth is squandered before it reaches the third generation, largely because of a lack of family communication.
In the coming decades, nearly $70 trillion will pass from one generation to the next, and if current trends are maintained, 90% of that wealth will be transferred away from existing financial advisors when the primary account holder passes away. Legacy Foundry tackles this wealth transfer problem by giving families a secure online space to collaborate on estate planning alongside their trusted financial advisors. But most importantly, the software inspires families to understand one another better and break down the barriers preventing them from having the conversations that truly matter.