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Kevin-Barry Henry

Gifts In Your Will That Aren’t Money And Harry Houdini

By: Kevin-Barry Henry, #1 Bestselling Author

When you think of bestowing your worldly possessions on to your (hopefully) grateful and (hopefully) tearful beneficiaries, perhaps you usually think of money or assets that you want to pass along to your loved ones. Heavens know that we covered many ways to do that efficiently in space over the years.

You might also think about family heirlooms like jewellery, antiques, or even a piece of restored furniture that has been passed down through the generations. But there are many other ways to leave a legacy

In this article we will look at a few fun and interesting things that you can leave in your will are not money or property.

A Family Recipe

While most of us think of our assets such a home, Cottage or RRSP (which are all lovely), for many families, a recipe can remind them of memories that hold a special place in their hearts.

In my family I remember my mom’s blueberry pie and the feeling I get even today when I have a taste of her delicious pie recipe. I can’t put a price tag on it.

We all have a special and sacred family recipes that remind us of family dinners when we were younger.

Have you ever considered the ways these special memories can continue to live on for the next generation of your family, for years to come? In your will, you can consider leaving things that aren’t things, like a family recipe!

I wrote an article about keeping recipes a little while ago and you can read it here: HOW TO PRESERVE YOUR FAMILY RECIPES FOR GENERATIONS

In that article, I recommend recording your favourite recipes in a few different ways to pass along to loved ones. Then you can make sure that your executor or beneficiaries know where to find them by listing them in your ESTATE DIRECTORY. My regular readers will know how important I think it is to have an estate directory in place is their families. If you don’t have one, you start building one.


A Legacy Gift

Throughout our lifetime, many of us have causes we may donate to, to help charities with finding their mission. In your last will and testament, you can leave a legacy gift to a charity or non-profit organization. A legacy gift is a way to help tomorrow and it is a great way to be remembered.

You can find more information about charity giving here: CHARITABLE DONATIONS



Do you have a special collection or item that you would like to pass on? Perhaps you have a collection of records that you want a specific family member or friend to have? You can include these wishes in your will (and your estate directory).

Lawyers call this part of your will “Residue”. How to they make everything sound so boring? Some of these specific gifts might include:

  • A record collection
  • Jewellery
  • A piece of Art
  • Clothing
  • A classic car or motorcycle

I have a special tie clip my dad gave me that he wore on his wedding day. It probably isn’t worth a lot, but it means more to me than I can measure.


A Secret Code

Do you have a secret code that you want to leave to a loved one? You may be surprised to learn that this has actually been done before!

Harry Houdini was an escape artist, illusionist, stunt performer and magician. He left his wife a list of 10 words in his will. It was a secret code that he believed would enable her to contact him in the afterlife.

Harry Houdini has been remembered for his escape acts, but I think leaving this code behind makes him even more mysterious. How cool is that? I wonder what the lawyers called it.


Peace of Mind

Last but not least, make sure you give your family members and beneficiaries the gift of peace of mind. Writing a will and recording your wishes in your estate directory will ensure that your family has peace of mind (and so will you!).

Leaving behind your blueprint for how you want your life wrapped up is priceless.

Your will is a legal document that communicates how you want your assets to be distributed, including things like a special recipe or a secret code! Including specific gifts in your will eliminates the guessing game that your family and beneficiaries would otherwise have to play.

If you would like to set up or update your own will, I encourage you to CLICK HERE and get a KBH discount while you’re at it.


Your estate directory is not a legal document, but it is a legacy document. It is you voice when you no longer are able to speak. To learn more about creating your own CLICK HERE

I hope you enjoyed this fun (for me) article and I look forward to hearing from you.

With Gratitude,


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