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.

Definitions of legacy
  1. noun
    (law) a gift of personal property by will
    synonyms: bequest
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    type of:
    heritage, inheritance
    that which is inherited; a title or property or estate that passes by law to the heir on the death of the owner
    something acquired without compensation
  2. noun
    practices that are handed down from the past by tradition
    synonyms: heritage
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    type of:
    knowledge of how something is usually done
  3. noun
    an applicant to an educational institution who is given special preference because a parent or relative attended that institution
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    type of:
    applicant, applier
    a person who requests or seeks something such as assistance or employment or admission
Word Family