First of all it’s free…
An Ethical Will is not a legal document and it costs virtually nothing to prepare. Time is often the most significant component. You might prepare an Ethical Will as you sit at the kitchen table. It might be a written or audio or video documentation or even a combination of these. An Ethical Will might be intended for an individual, a group, an unborn child or a daughter whose wedding or 21st birthday you not be available to attend…it’s up to you!
It may be the equivalent of a Diary for each of your children, recounting treasured memories; giving that last bit of advice (who said you couldn’t get the last word in?); giving or asking forgiveness to an estranged sibling, friend or relative; or thanking some one special for the difference or impact they made on your life. Perhaps it documents the history of some special treasure you want to pass along from past generations to future generations. It is called providence when the path of a medal, for example, is traceable from past generations to future generations. It even has the capacity to add value. (You’ve likely witnessed this on some Antiques Road Show.) Or maybe you’d like to share a particular story or add a personal touch to some special bequest for a special friend.
Sometimes it is an opportunity to make a confession.
Document it…arrange to pass it along when you are gone…or better yet…give it to its’ intended recipient now while you can appreciate the response…the 1st bike, the old sled, Grandmas teacup and saucer, that Masterpiece your Mother painted or the video history of your years on the farm or on the railway or in the military… The list can go on and on!
Quite simply …the greatest gift we often have to give is the gift of ourselves. This kind of gift can often be best defined within the confines of an Ethical Will. Add to this or change it as it fits the realities of your transitions through life. There is the potential of very measurable personal gain through this communication…not to be underestimated…it’s time well spent.