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What is a legacy letter?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Legacy letters are heartfelt messages that people leave behind for their loved ones, attached to their other important documents. Legacy letters are not essential to an estate plan, and they are not legally binding – but they can be powerful, nonetheless.

Legacy letters are typically addressed to children, grandchildren and other close family members. They usually serve as a means of conveying both valuable information about family history to future generations, as well as a testator’s own life lessons and personal sentiments. They can end up being the most treasured heirloom you leave behind.

What goes into a legacy letter?

Facing that blank page can be the hardest part about writing a legacy letter. Here are some topics that can help you get started:

  • What do you want your younger family members to know about your family history?
  • What are the values that have guided your life? How has that affected you?
  • What have been the most defining moments of your life? What shaped your worldview?
  • What are your favorite memories? What are your biggest regrets?
  • What makes you grateful? What lessons did you take from those things?
  • What are the most important pieces of advice you have for those you love?
  • What do you want your loved ones to remember the most about you?

Legacy letters can form a meaningful part of what you leave behind for those you love, and they may even be able to quell family squabbles over your estate by reiterating your decision-making process and the ideals you hope your loved ones will carry forward. When you’re making an estate plan, you may want to consider adding a legacy letter or two.

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