What Are Ethical Wills?
An ethical will is a gift you leave your loved ones. It’s a way you can express your experiences, values, and other important themes and life lessons you want to pass down. Like a legacy letter, an ethical will doesn’t have to take a specific form. It can be a written document, audio recording, video or even just a list of things you’d like to share with your family and friends.
Ethical Will Vs. Legal Will
An ethical will is a document you write to pass on to your family or loved ones. Unlike a legal will, an ethical will is not intended to be legally binding and is instead meant to impart your values, life lessons and spiritual beliefs. Ethical wills are also often referred to as legacy letters, and they’re increasingly being written by clients before their death in an effort to preserve their non-financial legacy for future generations. Writing an ethical will requires the courage to face one’s mortality and look back on one’s essential truths, failures and important work. But it can also be a deeply satisfying process.
Why Write An Ethical Will?
Writing an ethical will is a great way to leave something behind that will last forever. It’s also an opportunity to record your life’s important milestones, lessons and experiences. You can start thinking about your legacy at any time in your life. Often, the impetus for writing an ethical will is a health crisis, career change or other life event. Alternatively, you can use your financial adviser’s annual planning review as the perfect time to write an ethical will. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss your goals for the transfer of wealth and the reasons behind them.
How To Write An Ethical Will?
Many financial advisors recommend that their clients create an ethical will as part of their wealth transfer planning. They say it is a great way to convey their client’s values and history, as well as their beliefs in morality and their desires for their heirs. Writing an ethical will can often be a cathartic experience for people who have been struggling with end-of-life issues. Hospice workers, doctors and other palliative care professionals often suggest ethical-will writing as a form of comforting communication for patients who are nearing death.
What To Include In An Ethical Will?
You can start thinking about the things that are important to you at any age. Jot down memories, quotes and stories that help you define your character, and consider the challenges that have shaped you. Then, record your biggest achievements and life lessons – both successes and failures. These may include the time you built your own business or bought a house, but they could also include the times you hit a brick wall and came back stronger. Your ethical will is a living document, so you should update it regularly. Add new stories and experiences to it as you grow older, and be sure to share it with the people who matter most to you.
How To Share An Ethical Will?
You don’t have to wait until your death to make plans for your departure from this Earth. You can write your ethical will as you go, capturing life lessons and milestones as they occur. This will help future generations of your family remember the important aspects of your life and learn from them in their own time. Your children and grandchildren will appreciate knowing about your accomplishments, such as buying a house or starting a business, but they may also benefit from learning about the times you faced challenges and pushed through them. This is why it’s so important to capture the good and bad times of your life. If you want to leave behind a legacy that matters, don’t just leave valuables or material things. Instead, make sure to share your values, which are far more significant than money!
Categorised in: Ethical Will
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