Legacy Letters | LR

Thinking about death is not easy and it can be upsetting. Often, 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 experiences may go unsaid and unaccounted for. A legacy letter is unique because each of us lead a unique life. It’s a gateway to a deeply satisfying experience and is an extremely cherished gift to those who read it.

A legacy letter can include words of comfort to act as a tender farewell or just any final words you want to leave behind to loved ones. It truly is a way for your legacy to live on.

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Are legacy letters the same thing as legacies in a will?

No — the legacy in a will concerns leaving possessions and tangible objects to beneficiaries. A legacy letter leaves memories and words to pass on.

Are legacy letters a legal document?

No — they hold no legal meaning, but they have boundless sentimental value. The emotional side of planning involving a death is often overlooked, not just by clients but by advisers. We acknowledge the human and emotional 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.

How often should I write a legacy letter?

You can update or amend your legacy letter as often as you feel necessary. Some people wish to write letters tailored to an individual, others prefer to write to future generations such as grandchildren, knowing that those words will stay with that person for the rest of their life. Some people choose to write a collection of letters similar to a diary or memoir, spanning years concerning their thoughts and documenting their memories and experiences.

When is the best time to write a legacy letter?

There is no ‘right time’ — 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 for the rest of their lives.

Where should I store my legacy letter?

In a safe place, where it can be found. It can even be stored with a will.

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 read 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 or experiences 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 and unemotional 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.

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