As part of The Blum Firm’s Family Legacy Planning series, we are focusing on the gift to your family of not just your valuables, but also your values. One of the greatest gifts you can leave your family is a “love letter” addressed to future generations.
Such a letter also goes by the name “legacy letter” or “ethical will.” This letter is your chance to communicate things you want future generations to know. It can include what you value most in life, your best memories and favorite moments, your hopes and dreams for your descendants’ lives, and wisdom you want to share.
There is no set structure for a legacy letter. It can be addressed to your spouse, your children, the whole family, or a separate letter to each. You can include a dozen topics or just your definition of happiness.
Here’s a list of possible topics:
- Your goals and hopes for the future of the family.
- Your values and beliefs.
- Experiences that helped build your character and lessons learned.
- What you want to be remembered for.
- Traditions you want future generations to continue.
- Your family’s history and family stories.
- Important events in your life.
- Memories and happiest moments.
- Your definition of success or happiness.
- The family’s mission statement.
- Causes important to you.
- People who influenced you the most (your heros) and what you appreciate the most about them.
Next week, we’ll dive deeper into this topic and provide some samples. Our hope is that we inspire you to pull out pen and paper and start writing!
Marvin E. Blum
Marvin Blum, celebrating a “Legacy Letter” memorable moment at the Bris (circumcision) of his grandson Oliver Savetsky. Marvin is joined by the Rabbi, daughter Elizabeth, and son-in-law Ira. The tradition continues.