In General Knowledge, How-To

Legacy Definition: Leaving a Lasting Legacy

legacy definition

Legacy Definition: Leaving a Lasting Legacy

There comes a point in most people’s lives in which they begin to think about what value they have added to the world. We begin life as babies, initially unconscious of anything but our own needs. With any luck, we progress to adulthood, when concern about family and friends becomes central to our thinking. It is at this point that parents may want to sit down, perhaps with a lawyer, religious leader or consultant, and begin to construct a legacy.

Legacy Definition

The legacy dictionary definition is “something given by one to another.” This is a general legacy definition. Within this category, there are gifts of property and money, quite often left by one at their time of death.

There is also funding provided to colleges, hospitals and other instructions. Social entities, such as art museums, are other frequent recipients of financial legacy gifts. Perhaps most prominent of all financial gifts are those left by deceased parents to their offspring.

An easy legacy definition for kids is “a gift from parents that will help you be a better person.”

Who May Want to Leave a Legacy

Anyone can leave a legacy.

There are no rules prohibiting a person from bearing a gift upon another. The only common prerequisite seems to be a desire to leave the world a better place. Thus, parents are whom we usually think of when we hear the word “legacy.” Parents want to provide their kids with the chance to succeed in life. Money, property and education are things that will increase the odds of this success.

Social groups, such as races, ethnicity and religions are another common transmitter of legacies. In most cases, these are of the cultural type. The members of the group instruct the younger, in their midst, about their traditions. This pattern, in turn, facilities group survival.

How to Leave a Legacy

It is important that a competent legal adviser handle property legacies.

Writing a will that explains that this is “my legacy” prevents a battle among survivors over property. Without a will, the government may decide who receives what. In addition, the courts may divide the property amongst the survivors. In this case, there may be a liquidation of the assets, meaning the courts mandate the selling of the property and the funds allocated among the remaining family.

A will helps ensure when you leave your legacy that the intended recipient receives his or her just due. Again, it is usually best to go into a law office and simply announce, “I want to leave a legacy,” in order to get started.

Other legacies may only require the motivation of the giver,

Types of Legacies

Now that we have learned what is the definition of legacy, it is time to explore some types.

1. People can leave a cultural legacy. Language transmitted from one generation to another is an example. The Gullah Geechees, a group of African Americans living on the South Sea Islands of Georgia and South Carolina, have retained their unique culture from the end of slavery to the present day.

Visitors to these areas inhabited by the Gullah people will hear a form of English different from that spoken by others in the United States. During slavery, the Gullah, living quite isolated on remote islands, developed an English dialect blended with West African languages. The old then taught these language systems to the young, helping the culture survive. This is an example of a cultural legacy definition.

Cultural legacies help people understand exactly who they are. We often make claims that knowledge of self begins with understanding our history. Cultural legacies provide younger generations with living history. It is one thing to read about your social group in textbooks; it is even better to learn about yourself from language, stories, music and art taught by those who came before you.

2. Property is also important. Houses, cars and furniture are other common legacy gifts. Real property, the name given to things that we can physically touch, is a visible symbol of the love of a parent for a child. The parent who cares enough to take the time to draw up a last will and testament, legally providing their children with property that will help secure their future, should receive applause. These acts of kindness create a legacy of wealth in the family.

3. Another definition legacy is an educational one. In most of the world, people place a high value upon earning a quality education. We all want our kids to attend schools that will prepare them for life as working adults. As such, parents often persuade their children to go to the same school in which they graduated. This family legacy works in various ways.

First, many colleges, especially private ones, give added weight to the applications of legacy students. This procedure is the college legacy definition must known to the public. These are applicants who have a recent, or in some cases important, family member who attended the school. Legacy admission points can boost a marginal applicant above similarly situated prospects with no connections to the institution.

Second, educational legacies enjoy an advantage when joining a fraternity or sorority. Though the process of choosing members is usually a secret, it is a known fact that most students with family connections to the group get in.

Third, educational legacies provide a family identity. On football Saturdays, everyone sits down together to cheer on the team, regardless of how good they are that season. It is this sort of bonding experience that helps us develop a positive self-identity.

4. Another way of leaving a legacy to a school is through a scholarship fund.

One only need contact the financial aid department to find out the procedure for doing so. Given the large number of college students needing help to pay for rising tuition, aid counselors will be very glad to offer their assistance. In most cases, the school will name the scholarship in honor of the person donating the money.

It is also possible to name the gift for another. Either way, the name attached to a scholarship, visible in college handbooks each year, is a tangible legacy that connects the donor to the school. Moreover, this gift provides a student with the opportunity to earn a college degree, something that otherwise might not have been possible.

5. One last type of legacy is a professional one. Many people forget about these when they think about the definition of legacy.

Seniors may want their juniors to follow them into an employment field. For example, some families have multiple generations of lawyers, doctor or professors. In the best cases, the older members mentor the younger members about the profession. Thus, the young have a distinct advantage upon other newcomers to the industry who have to learn all the protocols firsthand.

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