Leave Nothing To Chance. Leave Your Legacy.
What we now call a Legacy Letter has its roots in ancient Jewish tradition. At first, these deeply personal messages were delivered orally but as writing became more common, their content was presented in letter form. They were a means for someone to pass along to their loved ones the spiritual values they had gained over their lifetime, everything from life lessons and philosophies to ethical guidelines and heartfelt blessings for their heirs and future generations to come.
Throughout our lifetimes, we all strive to uphold our values, stand by our principles, and live by the example we want our loved ones to follow. Even so, our efforts may be so subtle as to go unnoticed. That’s the role of the Legacy Letter, to consolidate and articulate your values and insights, to offer your advice on how to live a good life based on experience and learning, and to convey your hopes and dreams for your future generations. It’s like a great book that the reader can hold in their hands and keep referring to over and over again.
One of the nicest things about a Legacy Letter is its versatility. While it is the perfect accompaniment to an Estate Plan, a Legacy Letter can be prepared and delivered at any stage of a person’s life. In fact, it’s a wonderful practice to write and deliver these letters while you are still living. Legacy Letters are a deeply personal and original gift (for the writer and for the recipient) that gives them both the opportunity to strengthen their relationship or, in some cases, to repair, heal, and move forward together.
Writing Legacy Letters for our clients reinforces our own values here at Brilliant Biographies: those of Legacy, Connection, Self-Discovery/Healing, and Reflection.
A Legacy Letter leaves nothing to chance. Express the feelings that might otherwise go unspoken. Convey the emotional messages you want your loved ones to know. These are messages that can deepen, strengthen, and even heal relationships, messages that will stay with your loved ones forever.
Example of a Legacy Letter
To Kate and Ellen,
As you both know, I’ve already ensured that my estate plan is complete. I have prepared my Last Will & Testament, designated my Power of Attorney, and finalized my Living Will. After all, if fifty-plus years of practicing law have taught me anything, it’s to leave no stone unturned, never assume, and that preparation is everything. This letter is part and parcel of those principles.
While I have taken great care and consideration into how I intend to pass on my valuables to each of you, it is with the same, if not more, care and consideration that I have prepared this letter to pass on my values.
As your father, I’ve had the honor and privilege of protecting you, providing for you as you grew up, and living as the best example I could be of the moral virtues I wanted you to emulate. While being human inevitably reveals our mistakes and inadequacies, and no doubt I’ve fallen short many times, I sincerely hope that you’ll forgive me for those unintentional transgressions just as I know you would graciously extend that kind of compassion to others.
My own mother always said, “children are forever." And although you’re both adults at this point, please indulge your dear old Dad, at the risk of repeating myself, to give you the “behind the scenes” thoughts and desires I have always wished for you and which I have tried my best to impart to each of you through my example, though my advice, and through my prayers:
Deal honestly with others and honor your word. Your word is your bond.
Maintain an impeccable reputation. It is by far your most valuable asset.
Never compromise your integrity. You’ll be able to hold your head high, look everyone directly in the eye, and, last but not least, sleep well at night.
Maintain a sense of humor about yourself and about life. After all, humor is the best medicine.
Be compassionate to others, especially to those who are going through a tough time or those who are less fortunate than you. Reach out to them with a helping hand and be honored that you are the one they’re looking to for help and grateful that you’re able to give it.
Stay close to each other and do everything you can to maintain those close family ties.
And even through the rough patches, enjoy your life and enjoy the people in it. They will add richness and texture to your life from which you will create beautiful memories that you’ll cherish forever.
I will always love you. You have each brought joy to my life that I can’t begin to describe. And if you ever find yourself conflicted, lost, or just wondering what to do, I’m always just a call or a thought away.
February 7, 2022
Legacy Letter Pricing
1 to 3 pages, including up to 3 hours of interviews: $350
4 to 7 pages, including up to 4 hours of interviews: $500
The fee for a Legacy Letter of 8 pages or longer will be quoted upon request.