When we think of leaving a legacy, we often think in terms of money, and leaving an inheritance to family, friends, or a favourite charity. However, your legacy is about more than just your money – your legacy is the wisdom, the memories, and the ways you impacted lives while you were alive.
How will your friends and family remember you when you're gone? Most of us want to feel that we’ve made a meaningful contribution, that we’ve made a difference, and that our lives mattered. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some of the ways you can leave your legacy.
1. Start and share family traditions.
Whether it’s a road trip, spending summer days at the family cottage, or getting together for Thanksgiving, family traditions are a great way to create lasting memories. If you don’t currently participate in any family traditions, you can always start a new one. Traditions can be general in nature with all family members, or can also be more specific, such as taking a sibling, child, or grandchild on an annual fishing trip each summer. You can also document and/or share your stories of loved ones so that they can be passed down to grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
2. Get others involved in your passions and hobbies.
Do you play a musical instrument or a favourite sport? Are you passionate about theatre, boating, painting, or personal fitness? Your passions can create opportunities to make lasting memories, and to share with others the interests and activities that are of particular importance in your life.
Additionally, by getting others involved in your passions and hobbies, you can find new opportunities to share your wisdom and experience with those you love. By doing so, you may inspire others to also find new passions and develop new skills.
3. Support causes that are important to you.
Is there a particular charitable organization or initiative you feel strongly about? For some, this may be related to a medical cause, a community outreach program for children, environmental or wildlife protection, or perhaps advancing science research in a particular field. By supporting causes that are important to you, you can help leave a meaningful legacy for which you will be remembered, and you can also help make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Many people involve their families in their charitable giving decisions to encourage giving back as yet another family tradition!
Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.