A legacy letter is a document intended for a select group of people, usually your children and their families, in which you share your values, some of your life lessons and your personal story, your hopes and dreams for the future and, where appropriate, your expressions of love, forgiveness or desire to be forgiven. In a word, it gives you the chance to say what you would most want to communicate to the next generation, and future generations, about your life, your values and your hopes for them. It is not intended to be a legal document. The letter can range anywhere from 2-20 pages.
The process of production and the content of the letter varies somewhat from situation to situation, but generally we recommend the following:
- A phone call with Dr. William Long, who will be specifically working with you, to discuss the scope and timeline for the project.
- A personal visit by Dr. Long at your home or place of business, in order that he can "see" what you will talking about. This will most likely be a two-day visit, with the focus of the first day (about 4 hours) to get to know you and your desires with the letter, and then a short visit the second day to confirm what was said as well as to see if "sleeping on it" gave other thoughts. You may want to have collected (but not necessary) photos, letters, diaries, or documents to emphasize some of your points.
- Within two weeks of the visit, Dr. Long will draft the letter and send it to you.
- After you have read and studied his letter, a video or phone conference will follow in order to refine the thoughts and correct mistakes as needed. A second conversation might be needed to review the changes. Or, you might feel the letter is complete.
- A final copy will be produced within two weeks after the conversation. The length of the entire process is approximately six to eight weeks.
The usual contents of such a letter (varying according to your desire) include:
- Purpose statement—why are you writing this?
- Personal experiences as a child, and as an adult. (Since this is a very personal type of document, you will describe a few formative or shaping experiences and/or people and relationships.)
- Important lessons learned along the way.
- Values that you have developed and the philosophy you have, and how those values and that philosophy applies to family, business and community.
- Hopes you have for the future.
- Expressions of love and support.
For more information about the Legacy Letter or to get started, click the contact button below or call us at 913.643.5000.