Friday, January 11, 2013

The Ethical Will- Leaving Behind a Legacy of Your Values

Ethical Wills are a way to honor the past, remember family and community, understand your own life better, and provide a lasting legacy for your family for generations to come.
Ethical Wills enable you to document and share (in writing or via an audio or video recording) your values, your spiritual beliefs, and your "life's lessons." 

The idea of an Ethical Will is thousands of years old -- dating back to Biblical Times.  The popularity of Ethical Wills has increased over the years for many reasons. As baby boomers age, they're spending time thinking about what it is they want to leave behind. With the economy sagging, it's not always money.  Also, more and more people, even those who are non-religious, are exploring their spirituality, and almost always come to the realization that there is much more to life than our brief earthly existence.

The contents of an Ethical Will may not differ from one's spiritual autobiographies or memoirs, but the intent makes an Ethical Will unique. An Ethical Will may include the following:
  • cultural and spiritual values;
  • blessings and expressions of pride, love and dreams for children and/or grandchildren;
  • "life-lessons" 
  • requests for forgiveness 
  • the rationale for philanthropic and personal financial decisions
  • stories about the meaningful personal items that heirs are to receive; and
  • requests for how you would like to be remembered after death.
Sample questions to answer in making your Ethical Will and more information about Personal Histories can be found on the Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. website.

In connection with creating your Revocable Living Trust and other Estate Planning documents, The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. can help you leave your loved ones with something more than money and assets -- a sense of your values. Call us today at 703-691-1888 to set up an appointment for a no-cost consultation. 


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