Use the word, legacy, for something handed down from one generation to the next. A retiring company president might leave a legacy of honesty and integrity.
Legacy comes from the Latin verb, legare "to appoint by a last will, send as an ambassador." Originally, the noun meant "ambassador" or "envoy" but soon shifted to mean the money and property a person leaves behind in his will. Many university scholarships are funded by the legacies of former students. In recent usage, political leaders are said to be concerned with their legacies, the historically significant achievements of their tenure in office.