What is The Legacy Center?
The Legacy Center is a resource for individuals and families, organizations and communities that supports and encourages planning and documenting legacies for the future.
What do we offer?
We offer a range of products and services that informs, supports, guides, and instructs people as they do this work, including:
presentations, seminars, and workshops addressing individual and organizational needs related to legacies
coaching, consulting, and training for individuals and organizations
ethical wills, spiritual-ethical wills, values-based legacies
state of the art resources and products
a network of links and referrals
What is a legacy?
Broadly defined, a legacy is what you leave behind after you are gone. People often think of legacies in financial terms, e.g., when you bequeath your assets in a will. Today, in light of recent events in the US and the world, people are turning more attention to the idea of their spiritual/personal legacy that goes beyond material things, e.g., their stories, values, hopes, love, wishes, advice, blessings.
Where does this idea come from? What's the history or background of this work?
The desire to create and leave a legacy of meaning and purpose is as timeless as humankind. This desire taps into our belief that we are part of something larger than just ourselves or our own lifetimes. It is a way to 'live on' after you are gone.
What is an ethical will? How does it differ from a spiritual ethical will?
Traditionally, an ethical will is a document passing on personal values, instruction, and advice. It preserves a legacy of your cherished personal values. The foundation of both the ethical will and the spiritual-ethical come from the Biblical tradition going back the Book of Genesis when Jacob blesses his sons before his death. The spiritual-ethical will has been developed to meet specific needs of women that were not addressed in the original ethical will of tradition. Modern ethical wills include the same elements as the spiritual-ethical will.
Is this a religious organization?
No, we have no affiliation with any specific religious group or organization. However, our members represent a variety of religious traditions themselves and we often work with religious as well as secular organizations. More broadly, we believe that this work develops one's spirit and expands the spirits of those who are the recipients of legacies.
How long does it take to do?
Depending on your goals, you can write a letter in an hour or two. If you are interested in something more complex, it may be a project you work on for weeks or months. Some people update changes regularly or annually.
When is a good time to work on my legacy?
People are most interested when their life or values are shifting. Examples include defining life events like: Recovering from a major illness, making a career change, retiring, marriage, divorce, birth of a child, emptying the nest. A personal tragedy or a worldwide event like 9-11 is a time when it is natural to think about the need to document our lives and values for the future.
Who is this good for?
We all want to be remembered and we want our lives to make a difference. For individuals, creating a spiritual legacy is rewarding during life transitions and when facing challenging life situations. We feel a special urgency to document our lives and legacies since the tragic losses of 9-11. Organizations benefit by creating intentional work legacies.
How do I get started?
A great place to start is to learn more about it. If you know your area of interest, e.g., writing an ethical will, writing your life story or memoirs, read about resources we provide about those subjects. Consider taking one of our classes or workshops.
How will I benefit by preparing my legacy?
Voice & communicate your personal truths, ethics, commitments, values, stories
Feel understood, seen, and a sense of belonging
Document and record your family's history and stories
Deepen your connection to your roots, your history
Clarify values and define life goals
Provide a foundation for your living will/health directives
Give a sense of direction to your work, to your life plan
Guide your estate planning
Contribute your experience, values and wisdom to the future
Come to resolution and closure about your life and prepare for your death
Who else stands to gain if I do this work?
Your children and grandchildren
Your family, friends, and loved ones
Your favorite charitable organizations
Your work colleagues and organization
Your faith community
Is legacy work just for individuals?
We offer classes for groups and group legacy coaching experiences. We conduct presentations, workshops and seminars for groups on various legacy-related topics. There are many advantages to doing legacy work in a group setting.
Do you work with organizations?
Yes - examples include organizational legacy consulting with leader teams, individual leader coaching about Intentional Work Legacies, wellness programs about the healing power of story, classes for employees to explore writing spiritual ethical wills.
Where can I buy Legacy Center products and books?
The Legacy Store
How can I access The Legacy Center's services?
or call us at: 612.333.2833
How can I get on your mailing list (on or off line)?
Please give us your information via our form on our
How much does it cost?
You don't have to spend a thing to get started. Simply begin by capturing your own stories in writing or on tape. If you need direction, check our resources at
The Legacy Store
or contact us for guidance, referrals, and suggestions. The price depends on the type and level of support you want.
How long have you been in business?
We began developing The Legacy Center in 2000, but we have been conducting programs since 1998.
Are you a for profit or a nonprofit organization?
We are organized as a for profit subchapter-S corporation. We are developing
The Legacy Foundation
as a part of our organization.
Are you a national organization?
Our corporate offices are in Minneapolis, and our work takes us all across the globe.
How can my related work be linked with yours?
We are interested in people who have skills or products related to ours. Please
or write to us describing your skills or products, and why you are interested in us. We will contact you in response to your query.
What are the risks/downsides of this work?
As with any activity that is introspective and reflective in nature, unresolved personal and emotional issues may emerge that require professional guidance.