How to talk to your family about your legacy

When things get difficult, most people change the subject. Hide away. Stick their heads in the sand. Say, “Oh, I’ll do that next week.” But as a society we’re starting to see how avoiding conflict or difficult conversations, or putting things off altogether, is not healthy or productive for anyone.

Let’s talk

It’s important to talk about the difficult things that you may have been putting off – like what will happen to your family when you are no longer with them.

While it is common to leave one’s financial legacy to loved ones in a Will, it is equally important to talk to them about your wishes and the reasons behind those wishes. Talk about your little life stories with your loved ones, as these stories make up your legacy and may be received as gifts to be treasured and inspired by future generations.

Take some time to talk about the little – and not so little – stories of your life: Where were you born? What is your favourite childhood memory? What are your fondest memories of your parents? Do you have a favourite book? How did you get into your field of work? Was it what you expected you’d do? What would you consider your biggest accomplishment? How did you meet your partner?

Talk about how you would like to be remembered. You can capture your stories by writing a handwritten, heartfelt legacy letter which can be stored together with your Will. You can also bequeath your cherished keepsakes that represent these stories in your Will to help ensure your legacy lives on.

This article was written in partnership with Over60.