Writing your Legacy Letter Workshop

For most people, writing a will that outlines your financial matters is a standard part of estate planning. But what happens to the non-financial valuables left behind? The Diocese of Allentown is hosting a legacy letter writing workshop to guide individuals in sharing their wishes with their loved ones for items like family photos, recipes, heirloom furniture, and more.

The workshop, led by Ginny Downey from the Diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development, will offer a brief history of legacy letters and ethical wills, and provide guidance and hands-on exercises so that participants can create unique, personal documents to share with heirs and loved ones.

“A legacy letter bequeaths values, not valuables,” said Downey. “Legal documents like wills, living wills, and powers of attorney should be a part of your plan, but non-financial leave-behinds like photos, stories, recipes, and recollections are much more important than money to most of us.”

The “Writing Your Legacy Letter” workshop is free and will be held at John Paul II Center for Special Learning on November 11, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Participants will learn how to create an “ethical will,” which will share love, wisdom, faith, and life lessons with loved ones.

Legacy Letters, which were common during the Middle Ages, have biblical origins. In the Book of Genesis, Jacob, nearing the end of his life, calls all his sons one by one and tells them what he hopes for them. In John’s Gospel, Jesus, preparing for his own death, takes time to speak with each of the 12 disciples.

“Sharing what matters most with the people we love is an important part of end-of-life planning,” said Downey, who oversees Diocesan estate and planned giving programs.

“It conveys expressions of love, blessings, personal, and family stories you treasure. It articulates what you value and want to be remembered for, and what you hope your survivors learn from you or want your children and grandchildren to never forget.”

To register for the Legacy Letter Workshop or to schedule a workshop in your parish, contact Ginny Downey, gdowney@allentowndiocese.org or 610-871-5200 ext. 2244.


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