A big shout out to Jose Claramunt of Arizona State University, who was this year’s award recipient for the Dana Whiting Law Scholarship! Congratulations, Jose!
You can read Jose’s full essay below:
Death is something inevitable that sadly everyone is going to go through, that is also going to bring pain to the ones that love us. Grieving is hard enough on someone’s mental health, that is why estate planning is so important. Upon your death, you don’t want to bring more problems to your love ones by giving them another responsibility to see what is going to happen with your assets; you would want to have created a plan so that everything would go smoothly. Estate planning is another essential concept that every adult should learn and practice along their personal finance. The importance of estate planning is that as cold as it sounds, everyone is going to die so everyone is going to need to plan for how their assets are going to be distributed. Nobody knows when that estate plan is going to be needed so everyone should be prepared for it at all times.
I am very fortunate that nobody close enough to me has passed away to the point that a legacy was left for me. The closest legacy I have had is from my grandfather from my mom’s side. He taught me how to read, play chess, and do basic math. Things that I use every single day (I do play chess quite often because of him). When he passed away, my family helped my grandmother to clean my grandfather’s office and we found a lot of the books that he used to teach my siblings and I how to read. Those books have little to no monetary value, but they have great sentimental value. They remind me of all the hardships that my grandfather went through, escaping and surviving not one but two civil wars, losing everything each time, but building himself up no matter what. He was an educator, a teacher and even a principal of his own school. His legacy was knowledge that I will use to create my own legacy one day.
I am very young and I still have a full life ahead of me. Thinking about what I want my legacy to be is the same question that we get asked ever since we were little, “what do you want to accomplish in life?” I can think of a common answer of how I want to leave a very luxurious and extensive legacy, but the true legacy that I want to leave is a legacy that even if everything physically is destroyed, my legacy would be intact. One of my passions is education, if I am able to provide the chance to higher education to people, then my legacy would be in the mind of many people in the form of knowledge.