Legacy Letters Case Study | LR

The words I would have wanted to say to you on your wedding day.

Introduction

Mr Ross Andrews was 68 and didn’t have long to live when he contacted LR Connections to ask us to sort out his estate. A widower for the last seven years, he had one daughter, Grace, who had a young son, Jonathan. Grace had been seeing her boyfriend Kyle for the last four years. When she had to move away from the local area for work, Kyle decided to ask her to marry him and then move to the new area with her and her young son Jonathan. Mr Andrews said that he would wait for them to get settled in their new location then move there himself, as there would be nothing to keep him in their home town after they had gone.

What happened next

But soon after Grace had started her new job, Jonathan had settled into his new school and the wedding plans were under way, Mr Andrews received the terrible news that he had brain cancer and did not have long to live.

He approached LR Financial Services to ask us to put his finances in order. As well as sorting out his estate, he wanted to pay for the wedding to make sure Grace the day she had dreamed of. Mr Andrews was put in contact with an LR Financial Adviser, who sorted out his finances, and an LR Estate Planner, who drafted his Will and dealt with a funeral plan for him.

Mr Andrews specified that did not want to be kept alive on life support – he did not want Grace to have to give up work and become his career. They had become even closer since the death of Grace’s mother seven years previously. In fact, he did not even want Grace to know he was unwell, in case she threw away a career opportunity by leaving her job. He was also concerned that he would not live to see the wedding.

How the LR Advisers helped

One of our Financial Advisers discussed with Mr Andrews the best ways for him to pay for the wedding and how to make sure his finances were all in order.  Then one of our Estate Planners set out various options, enabling Mr Andrews to make an informed decision. Mr Andrews asked us to draft his Will, so he could leave some money to a breast cancer awareness charity (in memory of his wife, who had died of breast cancer) and some other money to his closest friend, Marcus.

We arranged a trust fund to make sure that Mr Andrews could pass money to Grace and Jonathan in a tax-efficient way. Mr Andrews specified that the money should be used to enable Jonathan to go to university when he was older. This gave Grace and Jonathan extra protection – if she were to divorce, the money would not be considered as part of her estate.

The Advisers then sorted out Mr Andrews’ Powers of Attorney and drafted his Living Will (Advance Declaration) to make sure that his wish to not be kept alive on a life support machine would be honoured.

Mr Andrews then wanted advice on how to draft his legacy letter, and on the best way to make sure that Grace would get the letter.

The Adviser gave Mr Andrews ideas about how to start to word the letter then suggested that his old friend Marcus – who was like a member of the family and who had sometimes looked after Grace when she was very young – could deliver the letter to Grace on her wedding day.

We were able to get all the documents drafted and signed for Mr Andrews in a timely manner and the documents were filed away in a safe place.  

What happened next

Sadly, Mr Andrews passed away and was cremated two months before Grace’s wedding but, via the legacy letter, she was able to read his final words before being walked down the aisle by Marcus. She was able to feel a connection to her father on a very emotional day.

We are happy to say that Grace got back in contact with us to tell us that the day had gone well. Grace and Kyle are now happily married, Jonathan is getting on well at his new school, and Grace has settled in at her new job.

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