An ethical Will, also known as a legacy letter, is the medium in which to share your values, hopes, life lessons, blessings and dreams for the future with your near and dear ones and the community at large.
It’s important to understand that an ethical Will is not a legal document as it does not distribute your material possessions or wealth. It is an expression of what you feel deep inside your heart and what truly matters to you the most in your life.
The advent of Ethical Wills can be traced back in both the Christian and the Hebrew Bible along with references from other cultures as well. It is not something that is new as it has clearly been around for ages. Today Ethical Wills are penned down by people when they are at crossroads in their lives and are dealing with tough situations. Once written these Wills are usually shared with the immediate families and loved ones and with the community as well while the writer of the Will is alive and well.
An Ethical Will has the potential to be one of the most treasured and consequential gifts that you can award your family with.
An Ethical Will is the reflection of our persona and it conveys the “voice of the heart”. Imagine it to be like a love letter addressed to your family. Each Ethical Will is has its own uniqueness and it resonates with the person who wrote it.
Traditionally, Ethical Wills have comprised of personal and spiritual values, blessings and instructions regarding burial. Mentioned below, is a partial list of the most common premises for modern Ethical Wills.
Mentioned below are some of the occasions where you should consider drafting an Ethical Will:
70% of divorces seem to occur within the first 5 years of marriage. Writing an Ethical Will can help couples to clearly understand each other’s expectations and values and this can go a long way in fostering a strong foundation for the marriage. Clergies today are attending to this issue today.
It is no surprise that children aren’t born with a user’s manual attached. An Ethical Will can provide the basis of common values that can be approached to look after a child and increase the understanding between partners regarding their important values.
Even during divorce, an Ethical Will can offer reassurance and security for the partners and children (if any). This can be done by presenting substantial evidence of what’s important to each partner.
Ethical Wills can come to the rescue of growing families as it can be used to teach and pass on good values to the children. Writing these values down can potentially improve communication and have more emphasis as well.
While you are writing down your last Will and testament, you can complement it with an ethical Will for a little something extra for your family and friends. You can use a Will template to draft your Will.