An increasing number of clients have been asking me about Ethical/Legacy wills.
Ethical wills are a way to leave something much more profound than money to your children; they’re a way to share your values, passions, and dreams, and the morals by which you’ve lived your life.
Ethical/Legacy wills are not some trendy “New Age” thing. They’ve actually been around for a few thousand years, in both the Hebrew Bible and Christian Bibles. They’re not legal documents. But I’m helping out with more and more of them these days. And they’re usually shared with family while the writer is still alive.
My clients are often surprised at how fast the process goes once they get started. But there’s no one way to do this. Here’s some ideas to get started
Start writing down your thoughts about:
- Your beliefs and values
- How you acted on those values
- Something you learned from your parents or grandparents
- Something you learned from your siblings, spouse, or children
- Something you learned from experience
- Something for which you’re grateful
- Your hopes and dreams for the future
You can write about important events in your life. Then, expand the categories into paragraphs. Arrange the paragraphs in the appropriate order. Add an introduction and a conclusion. And then…put everything aside for a few weeks.
Sound too complicated? Then just take a blank sheet of paper and start journaling. Write in a stream-of-consciousness state of mind; you can always organize it later on. Whatever comes to mind about your life, your feelings, and your experiences. Eventually, certain themes will emerge. And the document will start to take shape.
Still too complicated? Write whatever you want, how much you want. It will be greatly appreciated by your loved ones….even if you don’t think so
Make no mistake, there’s nothing wrong with leaving money! But if you’d like to leave a deeper legacy than just money, you probably have a lot of questions. And we have the answers – because we’re Elder Law attorneys.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’ve been finding answers for South Florida families for 33 years. And we’ve helped thousands of them, with answers to their questions about comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset protection plans, assistance with Medicaid and the VA…and how to write an ethical/legacy will.
We’ll answer your questions, too. And we’re just a phone call away
How To Write An Ethical/Legacy Will