What Is an ‘Ethical Will’?

Book An Initial Call Now
POSTED ON: September 27, 2022

What is an 'Ethical Will'? A “legacy letter” is designed to define a person’s non-financial legacy – from details of the key milestones, places and relationships in their life to the thoughts, feelings, obstacles and lessons they experienced along the way. They can even be a place to ensure important family traditions and values are preserved and continued in future, says Kiplinger’s recent article entitled “Remember, You’re Worth More Than Your Money.”

Rather than quickly writing a letter in hindsight during old age, you should be constantly capturing major milestones, lessons and experiences in your life as they occur. This will enable future generations of your family to read, watch and, crucially, learn from them further down the line.

Many of the stories you’ll want to share in your ethical will would be achievements. However, at the same time, an ethical will isn’t only about painting a picture of perfection. We’re inspired by recovery, so you must also record the times you hit an obstacle, failed and came back stronger.

These life experiences and bits of advice can help future generations avoid the same mistakes and believe they can overcome similar issues in their own lives.

An ethical will can also enable you, as the bequeather, to fulfill that innate human desire to be eternal. You will be able to leave a legacy based not only on your material wealth, but also on your relationships, intellect, ethics and life lessons. It helps you to keep on having “conversations” with your grandchildren about their financial decisions and lifestyle choices long after you die.

You could also create a matching program in which your assets are linked to a specific behavior pattern. Therefore, if your goal is to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, missionaries, or professors, you can expressly state in your will that anyone who decides to pursue your chosen path can reach into the family trust and get a certain amount of dollars to do so.

This will allow you to align your financial resources to behaviors and values that are important to you from beyond the grave.

Whatever steps you decide to take to get started on your ethical will, it’s critical to plan for end-of-life in a way that goes beyond simply passing on your financial wealth to future generations.

You should also be including all the other things that have defined your life and that can go on to help your loved ones shape theirs as well.

What is an 'Ethical Will'?- Law Offices of Claude S. Smith, III

Reference: Kiplinger (June 11, 2022) “Remember, You’re Worth More Than Your Money”

Let Us Help You Through This

Reach Out Now

What Sets Us Apart
We understand this process can be difficult. We ease you through it with your best interest in mind.

Legal problems are extremely stressful, especially when your family, your health, or your freedom are at stake. At this point in time, you may not even be sure what kinds of questions you need to ask a lawyer, but that’s entirely normal. Whether your situation involves family law, estate planning, elder law, a criminal charge, or a personal injury, we will start by giving you all the information you need.

The way we see it, you deserve to get this information directly from an expert. That’s why we make it easy for you to get in touch with your lawyer, and we never ask you to sit down with a paralegal or assistant instead.

As our relationship continues, we will keep you updated about the status of your case every step of the way. Your lawyer will reach out regularly to tell you about any new developments, and he will also be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the process.

Join Our eNewsletter

Stay informed and updated by subscribing to our eNewsletter!
Subscribe Now!
Law Offices of Claude S. Smith, III

805 Bigley Avenue
Charleston, WV 25302

Get Directions
Integrity Marketing Solutions - Estate Planning Marketing
Powered by