In today’s economic climate, many people are forced to take another look at the legacies they intend to leave to their children and grandchildren.  With diminished or depleted 401k investments, stock holdings and other financial resources, leaving money to heirs may no longer be an option.

So, if there is no money to leave behind, what can we bequeath to those we love?  Heirlooms?  Such things as jewelry, art, china, crystal, silver and other such material possessions may be a part of our legacy.  They can offer both financial and sentimental benefits to an inheritance.

But what if material goods are gone?  Many among us have had to sell everything of value. Then what?  Have we nothing to leave behind to our loved ones?

Despite the stories of the rich and famous who have millions to leave to their heirs, often the most precious gifts are those of little or no economic value.  Such things as favorite books, photos, handmade crafts, woodworking tools or even simple kitchen utensils are reminders of happy times with those who have passed on.  The choices are many depending upon what was valued and what was saved.

For those who have few or no material possessions left to give away, and even for those who do, maybe another legacy might be a journal, a letter or even a recording intended for those we have known and loved, sharing our thoughts and feelings of gratitude and affection for the gift of them in our lives.

How loving to leave behind words of their significance to our life, not that we were so grand and worth remembering, but that they were so wonderful that we loved them so much.


Kathy Brown is a lifestyle coach with a Master of Counseling degree (ASU) and Personal Training and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant Certifications from the American Council on Exercise.  Her e-mail is

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