Sharing Your Final Message with Loved Ones
An Ethical Will is an important estate planning document, though it is not a legal document. You are the only person who can create your Ethical Will. The Ethical Will is for you to make your personal statements (in writing, on video, or both) to your loved ones. Your Ethical Will lets your friends and family know what you believe to be important in life and provides them with the benefits of your experiences and acquired knowledge. It is essentially a “non-economic” inheritance of beliefs, realizations, and knowledge you wish to pass on to your loved ones.
When preparing an Ethical Will, it may be beneficial to imagine that you only have a short time left to live. What life lessons, values, philosophical beliefs, and religious or moral issues would you like to share with your loved ones? How would you like to be remembered?
You can prepare individual Ethical Wills for different family members if you do not wish to address everyone in a single document or video. An Ethical Will can be incredibly powerful to surviving loved ones, as it can offer them comfort and reassurance after your death, effectively carrying your voice and advice to them while they are still mourning your loss. You can prepare an Ethical Will privately or with our guidance. We recommend you keep your Ethical Will with your other estate planning documents. To learn more about Ethical Wills, read our newsletter titled – Ethical Wills Revisited: What you really want to Communicate to your loved ones.