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Do You Have an Ethical Will?

As we go through life, we acquire wisdom and life lessons that can benefit others. One way to pass along your stories and experiences is through an ethical will. Unlike an ordinary will or last testament, an ethical will has less to do with material possessions and more to do with nonmaterial gifts and spiritual well-being. It's a love letter of sorts for your family, friends and community.


Writing an ethical will benefit you as well. It can:

  • Help you to make sense of your life and the aging process.
  • Provide a way to share your hopes, dreams and values with loved ones.
  • Help you take stock of your life experience and distill from it the values and wisdom that you have gained.

Regardless of your age, you should consider creating an ethical will. You can choose to share your insights while you are alive, or leave your thoughts for loved ones to share after you are gone. It is often an ongoing process - put the document aside, read it over as the years pass, and revise it from time to time as you see fit.  Certainly, while an ethical will can be a wonderful gift to leave to your family at the end of your life, its main importance is what it can give you in the midst of life.

Learn more about legacy writing and ethical wills with Rachael Freed's Tips & Tools Annuals. Her Monthly Legacy Reflection and Writing Assignments Annuals are interactive magazines that compile her legacy reflection and assignments into writing tips and assignments. See them here!