More Than Words, Inc.

helps individuals, families, businesses and communities celebrate their life stories and strengthen their impact on future generations through our powerful personal legacy services and resources.

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”  – Murial Rukeyser

Personal Legacy Services

The most valuable gift you can give is your story

Sheri Kohlmann

More Than Words

There is no one else in the world exactly like you.  You are unique. Your life and experiences matter.

In the last century, we have added 30 years on to our life expectancy.  There is important work to be done during this stage of life. At More Than Words, Inc., we believe one of the most important jobs is to look back upon our lives and see who we really are, what we have learned and how far we have journeyed.

The most valuable gift we can give ourselves as human beings is the opportunity to reflect upon our lives and the many lessons we have learned along the way.  When we focus on what is truly important, we are able to live our lives with great hope, a clear purpose, and gratitude.

Do this for your family, your community and for the generations to come.  But mostly, do this for yourself.  You will experience a new appreciation for your life and for your future.

“Do it! Do it! Do it!  This has been one of the most enriching and stimulating experiences of my life.  A wonderful opportunity to review, value and own one’s life journey …a life-spring to create one’s future.  An opportunity to travel with and share life’s lessons with fellow journeyers.” – Anne (Guided Autobiography participant)

 

 

It is smart and responsible to seek out the advice of experts when it comes to building and planning your estate and financial legacy.People who don’t do this often leave behind a giant mess that can destroy families and businesses for generations to come.

However, the most valuable and lasting gift you can give your loved ones may have little to do with the wealth or possessions you have accumulated.  Sharing your life stories, expressing your love, and passing along the wisdom you have gained has the power to impact and inspire this generation, and many more to come.

My most cherished possession in this world carries no monetary value.  It is a torn and tattered book, self-published in 1929 by family members that passed away long before I was born.  It contains family stories and history that were valuable to the authors at the time.  Somehow they knew these things were important and had the wisdom and foresight to look to the future and care about those of us that would follow.  Their legacy letters are entitled “To Those That Love Me and May Pass This Way.”

Although I never had the privilege of meeting these family members, their lives and their stories have impacted me in more ways than I can express. Over the years, the words on the pages of that little book have provided wisdom and comfort to me as I wrestled with difficult situations and decisions. Their faith and values served as a guidebook on what was important and lasting in life, and what was frivolous and fleeting. They not only told me where I came from, but gave me insight into who I am and a sense of belonging. They told me things “more precious than gold” and bestowed upon me an inheritance that money cannot buy.

  “The more we know about our families, the more we know about ourselves, and the more freedom we have to determine how we want to live.” – Monica Goldrich

All services are offered through your choice of individual or group sessions, retreats, and/or in collaboration with your estate planning professionals.  Online coaching and classes are available upon request.

Custom Life Stories and Memoirs:

You are unique and so is your story. We will help you find the perfect way for you to capture and share your life stories and lessons. We offer personal history interviewing, writing, editing, book design and publishing.  If you are interested in sharing your story through video, we can help with that too!

Guided Autobiography (GAB)

GAB encourages you to connect your past, present and future by exploring your memories and documenting your life stories and experiences.  This deeply meaningful process allows you to reflect on and process the significant events and lessons of your life and gives you a strong sense of direction and purpose.

(Developed by Dr. James Birren of The Birren Institute)

Ethical Wills:

An Ethical Will, also referred to as a Legacy Letter, is an expression of what truly matters most in your life.  We lead you through the process of writing a heartfelt letter to share your life lessons, values, faith, and love with those that matter most to you.

(Developed by Barry K. Baines, MD, Vice President of Celebrations of Life: past, present and future®)

Life Reflection Stories:

Through a continuum of short stories, this powerfully significant process helps you connect your family history and culture to the present, and transfers the wisdom you gained from your life experiences to your loved ones.

(Developed by Tracie Bluse Ward, President and Founder of Celebrations of Life: past, present and future®)

Making a Difference Plan:

We will help you create an intentional action plan of generosity that aligns with your unique passions, talents, resources, and abilities. The Making a Difference Plan becomes a personal and family commitment to truly make a difference now and for generations to come.

(Developed by Tracie Bluse Ward, President and Founder of Celebrations of Life: past, present and future®)

Preservation and Sharing Your Legacy Documents:

Once you have written your personal legacy documents, you will want to preserve then in a way that will stand the test of time. Regular paper and ink will deteriorate and fade with time, so you may want to consider other options.  We will work with you directly to assist you through the steps provided in partnership through Celebration of Life’s professional preservation team.

May God keep you safe til the word of your life is fully spoken.”

-from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy


 

Sheri Kohlmann was inspired by her own family’s legacy, and by the clients she met while working as a paralegal at a Southern California estate planning law firm.  Meeting with hundreds of clients, Sheri had the opportunity to hear incredible stories about money, wealth, family and faith. She quickly learned that there was more to excellent estate planning than legal documents and financial investments.  She discovered that inheriting wealth without learning the history and values that created it can often be more of a curse than a blessing.

As the founder and owner of More Than Words, Inc., an independent LifeSAGEr® and Legacy Facilitator, Sheri assists individuals, families, communities, churches and nonprofits in getting to the “heart of the matter.”  Her classes and individual coaching encourage people of all ages and from all walks of life to define and share the things that matter most.

In addition to her previous work in estate planning, Sheri served as the USA Administrative Director for an international nonprofit organization and as an Account Executive in the litigation support field.  She has also strategized with churches in the area of generosity and legacy development.  Sheri is a certified LifeSAGEr through Celebrations of Life ™ and also a certified Guided Autobiography Instructor through The Birren Institute.  She is trained and certified in several methods of personal history interviewing and is a member of the Association of Personal Historians.

Sheri and her husband, Gene, live in Southern California. They have four sons, one daughter, three amazing grandkids, and the best Golden Retriever on the planet.

“A legacy is like a safety deposit box filled with valuables.  It is only natural that the owner of the box would tell the recipient what is in it, how everything works and why it is so important before turning over the key.”  – Paul J. Meyer