Here at LR Estate Planning we understand that thinking about the end isn’t easy and can be upsetting. Sometimes we know exactly what we would want to say as part of our last words, but the problem is we won’t be around to say it. All those years of advice, thoughts and happy memories may go unsaid and unaccounted for.
At LR Estate Planning we believe it is important to provide a personal touch during these times of grief.
A legacy letter can include words of comfort to act as a tender farewell or just any final words you want to leave behind. It is a way to ensure your legacy lives on.
We encourage people to draw up legacy letters. They can help loved ones come to terms with losing you and/or can act as a poignant keepsake for a specific, named individual.
Are legacy letters the same thing as legacies in a Will?
No. The legacy in a Will is about leaving possessions and tangible objects to Beneficiaries. A legacy letter leaves memories and words of advice to pass on.
Are legacy letters a legal document?
No. They hold no legal meaning, but they have great sentimental value. The emotional side of planning involving a death is often overlooked – not just by clients but by advisers, too. Here at LR Estate Planning we try to bring a more human touch to what can be looked upon as a rather clinical process.
Could I use a legacy letter as a Will?
No, it is a way to leave the people you care about something intangible but precious of yourself – your memories, hopes and dreams.
How often should I write a legacy letter?
We would advise that you rewrite your legacy letter as often as you feel necessary. Some people wish to write letters tailored to an individual. Others prefer to write to generations to come. Some people choose to write a collection of letters spanning over the years about their thoughts and documenting their memories about certain events.
When is the best time to write a legacy letter?
When you feel ready. It is usually an emotional process and they often take longer than people expect. If you are writing a letter that is tailored to an individual, it is all about how much you want to write and what you want to say.
Why write a legacy letter?
Writing a legacy letter makes sure you say your final goodbye and leave nothing unsaid. It can provide comfort to the loved ones left behind and a keepsake for those you care about.
Where should I store my legacy letter?
In a safe place, where it can be found.
Is there a limit to how many legacy letters I can write?
There is no limit to how many such letters you can write, how long they can be or to how many recipients. Your LR Estate Planning Adviser can give you some ideas about the sort of topics you could cover in your legacy letter.
What if I want to change my letter?
First of all, destroy the old one, so the recipient doesn’t get the wrong version. If you are writing them more than one letter, make sure you date or mark the letters so they are in the correct order.
Who should you have in mind when writing a legacy letter?
Loved ones or friends to whom you wish to give some final words, or words of wisdom. Some people choose to write legacy letters to generations to come as a way of passing their family history down the line.
How will the legacy letter help?
The legacy letter’s purpose is to bring a personal touch to what often seems to be very business-like procedure for the family left behind.
Who needs to know about my legacy letter?
We advise that you inform the Executor of your Will about the legacy letters. Make sure they know where they are kept and how and when you want them distributed.
Does my legacy letter need to be witnessed?
No, but we would strongly advise that a legacy letter is witnessed – and signed. If there is ever any question about its authenticity there would be witnesses to vouch for this authenticity and for your signature.
Does a solicitor need to draw up a legacy letter?
No, you are allowed to draw it up yourself.