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How to write a legacy letter

28 December 2023

Guide Wills
A mother lovingly holding her newborn baby, with father looking at them both.

‘The best things in life aren’t things’. 

— Art Buchwald

Sharing your unique story

Think about your grandchildren and future generations and how they might feel to be transported back to the time when you  were younger. Reading a handwritten letter creates an intimacy with the reader as you share your experiences.


Writing a letter allows you to consider your legacy and what it is that you want to share with your loved ones. It’s useful to think about your personal values and beliefs, life lessons, your hopes and dreams for the future as things to write about.


Your letter should be written from the heart. It might feel soul-bearing so give yourself the opportunity to reflect upon your thoughts and feelings before you put pen to paper. The process of having crafted your letter will be acknowledged by its recipient and coupled with your written sentiments, creates a powerful legacy.


Your handwritten, heartfelt letter may be received as gift to treasure, something tangible to be passed on. Your legacy will hopefully live on to inspire generations to come.

Getting started

Here’s some ideas to think about before you write your letter. You may think of other things as you start to write.

  • Expressions of love and appreciation for your family
  • Sharing life-lessons and advice
  • Your cherished memories of your life achievements
  • Your wishes for the future of your loved ones
  • Family stories or things such as family recipes that have been passed on
  • Stories about your precious things, heirlooms etc.

Once you’re happy with your letter, it should be marked to be opened after your passing and safely stored. Your legacy letter will not be a part of your legal will, however it can be stored with your will in The Victorian Will and Powers of Attorney Registry.

Useful resources

Will writing guide

Read more

Executor checklist

Read more

8 reasons to update your will

Read more

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Original artwork ‘Four Sisters Coming Together’ by Melissa Bell 2023