A Gift Like No Other

An occasion – birthday, religious holiday, cultural holiday – is in the near future and you are thinking of gifts that you can give to others.  We surf the internet, go to stores, think of that “perfect” gift, or even perhaps just give in to gift cards, but have you considered giving a gift from the heart?  One that will have more meaning than any material gift you could give. 

So, what is that “perfect” gift?  A Legacy Letter.  You ask “What is a Legacy Letter?”.  It is a letter – a simple letter – to someone you love – children, a spouse, friends, relatives – someone special in your life. 

Now you ask “What do I write about?”.  It can be anything from your heart. If you think you can’t write, try it.  It does not have to be perfect, it only has to be sincere.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

·         If you are writing to a child or children, sharing the story on paper of how you and their father met, the relationship you had, what is special about the child you are writing to, how they have touched your life.  Share any ancestry information you may know.

·         If you are writing to a spouse, put those loving feelings on paper and how they have enhanced your life.  Let them know the joy that you experienced by becoming a parent with them and how each of your children are special.  Share your dreams or visions of the rest of your life together.

·         If you are writing to a family member or friend, remind them of memorable times spent together, what they mean to you, what you wish for them in the future.

·         Perhaps you have been a part of an organization that has had an impact on your life.  While it may not be as meaningful as a monetary gift, such a letter sharing what your involvement with the organization has meant and how it has affected your life can be very much appreciated.

·         And, here’s a twist; how about a letter to an estranged family member or friend?  It just may mend a fence that has been broken.  While there would be no guarantee that the fence would be mended, at least you would have put forth the effort to try to fix what was broken.

A couple of general thoughts – share your gratitude for the recipient of the letter, share lessons you have learned from the recipient, meaningful words from a song or a poem or a saying. Be genuine, for this letter could be treasured for infinity.

And, the cost; only the gift of the time it took you to write a letter that can last a lifetime, through many generations to come.  A gift from your heart.  Monetary cost – nothing; the value – priceless.

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About the Author

Kay Sowa is a paralegal in the Trusts and Estates Group at Capehart & Scatchard, P.A. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent, an Accredited Estate Planner®, and a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor. She oversees the trust and estate administration practice for the firm. She is an accomplished author and lecturer who has frequently spoken on behalf of a number of organizations including the National Business Institute and the Institute of Paralegal Education.

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