Have You Written An Ethical Will?

There have been multiple stories in the news recently regarding the use of ethical wills, known as legacy letters.  An ethical will is a personally written letter – or an audio or video recording – that shares your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, values and life lessons learned that you wish to pass on to the next generation. It is a tremendous compliment to your legal documents, such as a living will or last will and testament.

As people age they want to leave more behind than their grandmother’s china or money. They want to make sure their heirs and friends know the value of living a good solid life, and what that meant for them.

What is said in a legacy letter should never conflict with what is recorded in a last will and testament. At Documented Legacy, we advocate for people to include similar language in the letter that states something like: If there is any conflict between this letter and my Will, my legal document should stand as written.

In the coming weeks we’ll talk more about ethical wills and how to use them to organize your thoughts, outline a letter, write it or record it, share it, and how to use an ethical will as part of a memoir, life story project or business history.

If you are thinking about starting a memoir or life story project and are interested in seeing a sample ethical will, contact us at mary@documentedlegacy.com.

Why You Need to Write An Ethical Will



Do your loved ones a favor, and leave a ‘When I die’ file

Philippine Daily Inquirer


How to Create An Ethical Will



Communicate what matters most with an ethical will

Tallahassee Democrat, part of the USA Network


Savvy Senior: How To Create An Ethical Will

The Oklahoman


How to Create An Ethical Will

Richmond Register


How to Create An Ethical Will

Baxter Bulletin, part of the USA Network