Everyone is familiar with the purpose of a Last Will & Testament in ensuring the orderly disposition of an estate, but how many of us have even heard of an Ethical Will? In our Legal Will we are able to spell out how our earthly possessions are to be distributed and we can even determine who will be in charge of distributing them and closing out our estate.
An Ethical Will allows us to share personal values and beliefs, life stories, and advice with our family and friends with the intent of passing our love and wisdom to future generations. It can be a memoir, of sorts. Interestingly, the Ethical Will may take many forms, from a written narrative to a video or audio recording. You may even utilize iPhone apps like Story Catcher and Facebook pages to leave a sense of your legacy. A particular advantage to leaving a digital representation of your values and memories is that of setting a positive tone with your body language and demeanor. This may go a long way in heading off family conflict and providing for a sense of pride and love as your family and friends live into the future.
There are online services that will assist you with leaving your legacy as well as several books or guides to choose from. When my granddaughter was born, a friend gave me the book For My Grandchild A Grandmother’s Gift to Memory that I am looking forward to completing for her. Another choice is Write Your Family Story—Leaving a Legacy by Judy Helm Wright. A Google search will assist you finding the resource that is right for the telling of your story.
What a wonderful gift to give your family, a narrative outlining your legacy through the living, breathing documentation of your Ethical Will! We are interested to hear of your experience with either receiving or leaving such a gift. How has this impacted you or your family?
Source: How to Leave a Living Legacy (Lemov)