Practical Ethical Wills
An Ethical Will, or a Legacy Letter, is a simple way to share what is important to you with your family and friends. It can also help you find peace of mind by leaving behind a piece of your mind. In fact, it can be a lovely spiritual gift for your loved ones to remember you now and years from now.
If you knew ahead of time when your life was going to end, what words of wisdom and comfort would you want to leave for your family? You may have a Last Will and Testament for the legal allocation of your possessions, as well as a Living Will with instructions for handling medical concerns, but an Ethical Will gives your family a better understanding of who you are, what is important to you, and what you hope to pass on to them.
Although your Ethical Will is non-legal and non-financial, its value is priceless!
Think about what you wish you knew about your parents, grandparents, and other ancestors. For example, why did your family uproot their lives to emigrate from one area of the country to another, like the pioneers who endured hardships to settle the West? You can share their experiences, and your own, with your descendants and friends.
Many people think about writing an Ethical Will when they are nearing the end of their life. In reality, such wills should ideally be an ongoing practice. If there are any unresolved issues in your life, or situations where you need to forgive or be forgiven, a legacy letter is the perfect opportunity to reach a resolution.
Consider starting an Ethical Will as soon as possible, regardless of your age. Update it regularly prior to or after major milestones, such as graduations, marriage and divorce, births and deaths, personal achievements, and world events. Reviewing each version can show how much you have changed and grown over the years.
Life is too short and too precious to miss the opportunity to leave a legacy letter to your family. Start now!