Sample Legacy Letter

Beloved Family,

By now you have received my Last Will. Prepared by a lawyer, its purpose is to dispose of the material things which I have accumulated over my lifetime and which I now no longer need. I hope its provisions will cause no ill will among those I cherish. The terms seemed sensible when I made it. But, in the end, the Will concerns itself only with material matters which are in trust to each of us only temporarily.

I am more concerned with having you inherit something that is vastly more important. Over the years, I have come to cherish a number of principles, values, and standards that have served me well. I am writing this letter to recommend these principles to you. I hope you will live justly, be productive, and use moderation and prudence as your guides, with more focus on the long-term than on immediate gratification. As far as it is within your power, use what I have left you to enrich the lives of those around you, not only your family but also those charitable causes that are important to you. Live together in harmony, forgive quickly, and help each other without being asked. When no one is looking, undertake both large and small acts of kindness.

I have loved each of you immeasurably and am grateful for the life that we have shared. I could not be more proud of who you have each become.