When people are thinking about preparing their will, they often think of what their loved ones will inherit in financial terms. Property, chattels, and financial assets.

When you take a step back, however, your loved ones inherit far more from you than property and financial benefits.

Even if you’re enormously wealthy, you probably hope your loved ones will inherit more important things from you than a healthy balance sheet.

At the very basic level, your biological children receive a genetic inheritance from you.

But they receive so much more.

Your children and the people you spend time with will inherit a lifetime of memories and experiences. Memories and experiences about you; memories and experiences shared with you; or memories and experiences that they would only have had because of you.

Your loved ones may inherit explicit and implicit beliefs about the world and other people from you. And they may become the stewards of values that you hold dear. 

If they’re lucky, people you’ve touched will inherit some of the wisdom that you’ve earned. This wisdom may be passed on for many generations, long after the property and money you leave has gone.

Inheritance isn’t just about money. 

If you’ve accumulated a significant nest egg, and you know you’ll be comfortable for the rest of your life, you may want to consider whether you need to provide your loved ones with an inheritance of money, or whether you might want to exchange some of that for something less tangible. Like positive memories, shared with you and your other loved ones.

Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie is an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA) and former lawyer with experience in the financial services and trustee industries. Sonnie operates Fairhaven Wealth (www.fairhavenwealth.co.nz).