Estate Planning – What is an Ethical Will?

Creating a will allows you to distribute your property and possessions, creating an ethical will allows you to pass along much more to future generations – like your cherished memories, your dreams and your values. In today’s fast paced society, values and those one-of-a-kind family stories can be lost in the shuffle of the modern world. An ethical will allows you to pass along those treasured memories, and even hopes and dreams for future generations.

An ethical will certainly does not replace creating a legal will for your estate, in fact it is not a legally binding document, but it is gaining in popularity in estate planning. From handwritten notes to a biographical video, the ethical will can be used not only after passing, but many are choosing to share it during life.

There is no set format for an ethical will, it is as personal as the author, but some of the most popular forms are:

  • Writing a family history;
  • Autobiographies;
  • A statement of family values and beliefs;
  • Important lessons of life; and
  • Hopes and dreams for future generations.

A valid will is going to take care of your possessions when you pass, the ethical will can offer the personal touch that will ease the pain of your passing on loved ones. Consider adding an ethical will to your estate planning tasks, it can offer valuable insight and life lessons to your family.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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