Leaving a legacy when you don't have children

Leaving a legacy when you don't have children

My sister doesn't have children and it's come up in the past she feels like she won't be able to leave a legacy because she's chosen not to have a family. I shared this article with her and because I've written previously about legacies here I thought I would share with you all, too. You don't have to have a large family to leave a legacy, there are many, many ways for you to make an impact - large and small.

 

I thought there were some really good ideas here such as writing down your favorite recipes, life experiences, and accomplishments, championing a cause, or dedicating yourself to a charity, or even setting up a grant or scholarship in your name. 

 

Here's the link if you want to read all of the great suggestions they made - https://nyti.ms/2JuzkC5

1 REPLY 1

Re: Leaving a legacy when you don't have children

Interesting article @Reeta, thanks for sharing. 

I am not childless, because I have step-children, but I don't think of them as my heir. My husband and I have drawn up wills and estate plans for them, but when it came to my money or possessions, I felt that my step-kids would not care to get those. (well maybe the money, but not my personal possessions).  I ended up assigning a lot of my "family heir looms" to my sister, and brother and my cousins. (and their children)

 

Reading this article though made me wonder. Why are we so obsessed with leaving a legacy? I get that one would hope their earthly possessions go to someone that they love, where it will matter, but why do we feel that we have to have a lasting impact on the lives of generations to come? Maybe I am too cynical, but your life lived should be your legacy, not what you have given to others once you pass away. I think as a western society we need to learn to  be ok, (as the article says) 
"being last one to turn the lights out." Lots of other cultures and societies don't do legacy planning and focus on the present. People in those cultures pass away having lived a great live and having set their children up for success in the present. I know everyone sees this differently, but it's still worth considering. A legacy is not a must, is not it ok to live your best live in the NOW and then "turn off the lights"?