Critter Corner: Leaving a Legacy for Your Children and Grandchildren

Dear Raider,

I read Mr. Farr’s article about things to leave and not to leave your children and grandchildren this past Tuesday. Nothing was mentioned about leaving a legacy. I remember Legacy Stories used to be a service that the Farr Law Firm offered to clients, but I believe they are not as widely used or out of business at this time. What are some things I can leave to my children as a legacy?


Leich Issee

Dear Leich,

Good point about the importance of leaving a legacy for loved ones! A Legacy Story is a way to document and share (in writing or via an audio or video recording) your values, your spiritual beliefs, and your life’s lessons, and is a great way to convey these things to children and grandchildren when you are no longer around. Your legacy story can include your hopes, your dreams, your joys, and your regrets. It may also contain professions of love and forgiveness for loved ones in your life.

We are very fortunate to have some amazing readers who write to us with their great ideas, and we just received some wonderful suggestions to add to the article about things you should leave your loved ones. These are some of the suggestions from newsletter reader, JD. Thanks again, JD, for your helpful recommendations, as follows:

  • A personal letter of encouragement to each child and grandchild that is handwritten, if possible. JD talks about one that he received from his father, which he treasures. To convey his own legacy story, JD did a short video for his children, with one of his grandchildren.
  • He suggests leaving details about family history, if you have them. Grandchildren often do family trees at school and are usually quite interested in where their families came from and interesting stories from the past. JD’s grandchildren all know that he has fascinating and unusual stories to tell. He describes how often at Christmas, he tells stories of when his boss met the queen and the gifts that she gave him, how he survived a bad car accident, and how he met their grandmother. He documented these stories in a book for them, using a site where you can put together storybooks, such as Shutterfly.
  • JD’s family bought him and his wife a family history record book to complete that is perhaps 80 pages long, in which they both really enjoy documenting their family history. JD and his wife gave it back completed to the family that bought it as a birthday present. He copied the full book for his 10 grandchildren and made it part of a packet they will receive upon his death, along with money that they will inherit. He hopes that in the writing they will see his and his wife’s honesty, character, integrity, and desires for them, and it will be something they treasure when he and his wife are no longer around.
  • JD also has a family file. Once a year, he writes his three children a personal letter talking about his year, his goals, and including encouragement for them. JD saves those letters and drops them in a file that his children will get when he passes away.
  • JD also recorded his banks, his accountants, where the key is to the safety-deposit box, his passwords, and copies of his bank statements. He keeps a file with his Estate Planning documents showing all the monthly bills he pays and the various bank accounts he has. He includes information about his lawyer to contact for his estate administration.
  • His last tip is to remind your children to go through the house carefully before selling it. Seniors tend to hide cash in books and behind items.

Capture cherished memories, craft captivating stories, and preserve your legacy using apps such as Leaves, Chptr, Keeper, Life’s Time Capsule, and Storied. You can also hire a “life story” professional to help you document your story.

We hope that a few of these ideas will benefit our readers. We are so thankful that JD shared them with us!

Thank you again, JD! These are some amazing suggestions!


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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.