Legacy vs. Inheritance: Which Matters More in the Long Run?

While “inheritance” and “legacy” are frequently interchanged, there is an enormous difference in the words. And if you confuse them, you might end up ruining them both.

One you can get help with, and one is up to you. Can you guess which is which?

Distinguishing between terms

There is a distinct difference between an inheritance and a legacy.

Leaving and receiving an inheritance isn’t simple by any sense of the word, at least when two separate countries are involved. But leaving an inheritance is about the transfer of money, property, businesses, and other assets.

It’s quantifiable, often taxable, and its distribution can be planned meticulously with the help of a financial advisor.

A legacy, though, is something entirely different. A legacy is the indelible imprint you leave on the world and on the lives of people you’ve touched—and it transcends the materiality of an inheritance. A legacy is the sum of your actions, values, lessons taught, and principles. It’s the inspiration derived from your life story, the moral values you imparted, and the causes you championed. While an inheritance might provide financial security, a legacy offers guidance, inspiration, and a sense of purpose.

Legacy’s lasting value

Consider the difference this way: An inheritance might enable a child to buy a house, but a legacy will teach them the value of filling the house with family and opening the door to friends and community.

While both inheritance and legacy have their own merits, one can argue that a legacy is more enduring. Money can be spent, and properties can be sold, but the lessons learned, the values instilled, and the memories shared become part of the family tapestry, influencing generations to come.

Planning for the future

You can work with a cross-border financial professional to plan your estate and ensure your loved ones are taken care of. During the process we look at the big picture and take care to reflect on the legacy you’re creating.

Remember, your wealth can provide comfort and security for your descendants, but your legacy will guide, inspire, and influence them long after the tangible assets are gone.

Learn more about leaving and receiving a cross-border inheritance with our popular inheritance resources here.

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