What Is An Ethical Will?
An Ethical Will is a personal document you may design to share your beliefs, experiences, and life lessons with your family. This Will is entirely optional. Unlike a legal Will, which is used to transfer assets and property, an Ethical Will is used to carry on guiding principles, spiritual beliefs, memories, and intentions for your family’s future. If you are interested in learning more, click here for more information.
Why you should write an ethical will
Writing an Ethical Will allows you to tell your family your narrative, share your opinions and experiences, and leave a document highlighting your accomplishments and ideals. By leaving your Ethical Will to your family, you will leave something valuable behind for them and future generations to learn from and remember when you are gone.
You can also benefit from creating your Ethical Will while still alive. You may discover more about yourself by expressing what you value most in life, reflecting on your own experiences, and considering your decisions. An Ethical Will can thus be utilized as a tool for self-reflection and, if desired, self-improvement.
Ethical Wills can also distribute personal property with minimal monetary worth. The following are some examples of property that might be included in an Ethical Will:
- Items of clothing
- Family photographs
- Other items of significant personal (but not necessarily commercial) value
They can also be utilized to clarify to your heirs your intentions behind the decisions you made in your legal Will if you suspect any uncertainty or unfavorable sentiments.
When to start writing your ethical Will
Writing an Ethical Will can be helpful at any moment in life when you believe it is appropriate. You can begin writing it while you are young and starting a family. This is an excellent opportunity to consider what life lessons you want to pass on to future generations. What do you hope for your children’s future? When you are older, you may also start creating your Ethical Will. What memories and experiences do you want to pass on to your family? What are the lessons you have learned that you would want to share?
It may be a continuous process; you do not have to finish everything in one session. In times of reflection, whether happy or sad, you could think about adding to it.
How should you write one?
Since there is no standard form or structure for ethical wills, feel free to customize it. It might be a professional letter, a casual note, or a journal. You can produce a scrapbook or a collage, a video or audio recording, a PowerPoint presentation, a poem or a song, or any other form that seems comfortable and natural to you. If you are confused, ask an estate planning attorney for help.