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What is an Ethical Will and How Can You Create One?

As you may know, a Will is a legal document in which you express your wishes about your property after death. The document helps you pass on your physical belongings and money.

But you might find yourself wanting to hand down something else after you’re gone: wisdom. In that case, consider writing an Ethical Will.

An Ethical Will is a way of passing down values or lessons learned. Passing on wisdom and life values to the world and our loved ones is important. Death can cause huge burdens and stress on loved ones, but having an Ethical Will can offer your family slight peace of mind. Ethical Wills may help connect generations, providing more insight to grandchildren about your life.

Ethical Wills date back more than 3,500 years, traditionally used by Jewish people to hand down values. Although they are not legally binding, more people are adding Ethical Wills as a way to pass on their legacy. Today, people are using technology to create Ethical Wills using photos, PowerPoint presentations, or even video, creating a powerful, personal message for family and friends.

How do you begin writing an Ethical Will?
This is a personal document, so there is no right or wrong way to create it. Some themes to include:

* Life lessons, whether that be in your professional career, love life, travels, hardships, and relationships.
* Your deep thoughts and feelings toward your family and friends.
* Your favorite people, experiences, memories, foods, places, objects, etc.
* Your regrets: What would you choose to do differently?
* Your best and worst moments, how they defined you and what you learned from those situations.
* People you want to forgive, or from whom you’d like to ask forgiveness.

Most people do not know when their time is up; death does not escape anyone. You can write an Ethical Will anytime. A woman might write to her unborn child during her pregnancy. A man might write to his grandchildren.

Like with your legally binding Will, consider updating this document or adding to it throughout the years. If you have questions about an Ethical Will, contact us for more information.

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Top 10 Reasons You Need a Will:

What Happens if You Die Without a Will in North Carolina?

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