When you hear about a Will or a Last Will and Testament, you probably think of the document that says who you want to receive your assets (your “beneifiaries”) and who you want to make sure your wishes are carried out (your “executor”). To be sure, most everyone needs a Will. (If you're not sure why, please be sure to check out the other blog content contained here). However, financial and physical assets are not the only thing that you leave behind when you die. What do you do with all of your experiences, your insights and your wisdom? Where do your stories go? Memories passed down through an oral tradition will probably carry a few generations, but what if you want to share your legacy with family members who will be born several generations from now? One thing you can do is to create an “Ethical Will”. Ethical Wills take many forms, but generally they are a way to document and share your values and stories with future generations. If this sounds like something of value to you, read on.
A quick Google search of “ethical will” will provide you with a plethora of forms and resournces on the topic. Amazon sells books on ethical will preparation. Just remember, an ethical will is not a legal document — it is a letter to your descendants that enables you to pass along information. You can use it for many things, including telling your loved ones how important they are, reflecting on your life, or explaining your estate plan. You can also add whimsical details: your first date, why you chose your particular career path, your passions, or your hopes for the future. Feeling stuck? What do you wish you could have learned from your ancenstors?
If you're updating your estate plan and want to include an ethical will, but don't know where to start, talk to your attorney. At Linville Law Office, PLLC, we understand that estate planning can be more than your tangible assets and bank accounts. We are conveniently located in south Charlotte for in-office or online meetings. Give us a call today: 704-323-6712.