How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to leave a legacy that transcends the assets you leave behind?
When it comes to estate planning, people usually focus on what happens to their assets when they die. It’s very important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create legal documents, such as Wills, Trusts, powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care. Having these estate planning documents in place provides peace of mind and satisfaction for a lot of people, as they imagine their heirs enjoying their inheritances and perhaps having greater financial freedom and stability. However, an Ethical Will can also provide a sense of peace and closure alongside legal documents.
What is an Ethical Will?
Ethical Wills have a long history in some cultures as a means of passing on meaningful information within families. They record a person’s history, wishes, beliefs, values, morals, or other personal information for loved ones. Ethical Wills can be powerful communications, whether they’re shared after a person’s death or during the person’s lifetime.
What Goes in an Ethical Will?
Ethical Wills are not legal documents; however, they contain important information for future generations and can spark joyful family interactions. Ethical Wills offer an opportunity to share:
- What is important to you and what has shaped your life.
- Experiences, significant decisions, and acquired knowledge you wish to pass along.
- Your values, philosophy, morals, and religious beliefs.
An Ethical Will should explain the legacy you wish to leave, your hopes and dreams for your loved ones, and anything else you feel is important for your loved ones to understand.
How is an Ethical Will Prepared?
An Ethical Will can be as simple as a written letter, a voice recording of your spoken words, or a video created with your phone. You can prepare a single Ethical Will or separate Ethical Wills for each of your loved ones. Ethical Wills should be kept with your other estate planning documents to be located after your passing or you are free to give them to your loved ones while you are living, which may be very rewarding. When an Ethical Will is delivered to friends and family, it usually has a profound effect.
Keep in mind that an Ethical Will is not a good place to explain the thinking behind your estate distribution plan or how your wealth should be handled after your death – that is the purpose of your legal documents.
For guidance and resources on Ethical Wills and legal estate planning documents in the Atlanta area, please contact the experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Morgan and DiSalvo at 678-720-0750 or info@MorganDiSalvo.com.