Individuals and Families

SMR helps clients and also attorneys and trust officers with Life Stories, Ethical Wills and Legacy Asset Videos

Your life. Your story. Forever.

Everyone has a story, and your children, grandchildren and future generations will appreciate the ability to see you—and hear your story—in your words. Forever. We can help you share it.
We create short, documentary-style videos like the ones people love to watch on television—except this show is about you! SMR uses its roots in journalism and philanthropy to interview and gather the real story of your positive impact on the community, your family and your friends. Every video is as unique as the individual or family story. These videos offer a rare opportunity to communicate values across the generations. 

Our Process

We work with each client to plan their video. You do not need to have written your life story down. You are the author of the life you have lived, and nobody knows it better than you do. We use a documentary-style interview format to ignite memories in conversation. It is comfortable and easy. Anyone can do it. The video is edited to keep the best, delete the interviewer’s voice, and layer in your photos, family videos, your residence, your art or automobile collections and awards—all the things that are meaningful to you. 

Anything special, from any period of your past—childhood, career, community involvement, special events, and trips—can play an important role in your story. We hope you’re having the time of your life now, but tomorrow always comes faster than we expect. Perhaps now is the best time ever to put your life and vision for your family into words and images.

We will coach you and guide you through the process to make it as fulfilling as possible. The process of reminiscing can be emotional. Sometimes it is challenging to recollect and reflect upon the punctuation points in life. That is why all material is confidential, and the completed video life story is only shared with those you choose.

The process begins with a conversation. Next, a custom quote is presented for your project based on the length, number of filming locations, number of people and a few additional factors. Together, we will record your memories, values and wisdom. It is a generous and loving gift that will be cherished by future generations. We can’t wait to hear your story.

Ethical Wills

Drawing up a will is an essential part of a responsible life. Legal language surrounding the distribution of your property rarely conveys the story of your life, the values you hold dear, and the choices you’ve made in distributing your assets. An ethical will shares the meaning you’ve derived from your life, it shares the story of your life in your words, and it explains the meaning behind the choices you have made. Video is a much more compelling medium to capture the emotion and nuance beyond the cold written words of a legal document.

For example, a grandparent may choose to divide their estate 50/50 between their two children. Alternately, they may leave 20% each to five grandchildren—four in one family, and one in the other. The choice might cause surprise and division without a heartfelt explanation.

Legacy Asset Videos

Life is mostly about people and their experiences together. But it’s also about things, and they have special meaning, too.

A legacy asset video lets you document what you have, so there is no confusion later on. It’s also the perfect opportunity for you to tell the stories behind your possessions, and why some items in particular have such special meaning.