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.