When you think about leaving a legacy gift to your children what do you think about?
I remember my wife’s 91-year-old grandmother. She grew up in the Great Depression. When we cleaned out her apartment to move her in with family, we found that she’d saved the aluminum foil from every Meals on Wheels dinner she’d ever received. There were thousands of aluminum foil balls in her closet. But at her death we also found that she’d meticulously saved, and she was able to give each of her three children a small financial gift.
Even with parents who have strained relationships with their children, I find the hardest thing for them is to not leave their children a financial gift.
I’ve worked with one family where the biggest delay in completing their financial plan is simply the fact they can’t reconcile not making a gift to one of their wayward children.
But the irony is that our children don’t need our money. My wife’s grandmother left a small financial legacy. It was a token of her love.
The Greatest Legacy Gift
And in truth that’s what our children need. They don’t need that last bit of advice or that last bit of instruction. No final charges.
They need one simple thing: encouragement. The power of a few encouraging words. “I love you.” “I believe in you.” “I’ve always hoped great things for you.” “You’re amazing.” “You’ve always lived with integrity.”
Encouragement is the greatest legacy gift because it sticks in the soul long after money has slipped through our fingers. Maya Angelou said it this way: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Can you think of encouraging words your parents or grandparents left you?
Photo by Benjamin Elliott on Unsplash
Share this Post
Published October 11, 2019
Topics: Family Legacy