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An ethical will is a nonlegal record of what you?ve learned that you?d like to share: beliefs, doubts, stories, instructions, wisdom, successes, disappointments, memories, and hopes. Writing an ethical will takes some effort, but it?s also a journey of self-discovery, and one most of us find enormously satisfying. Even if you leave behind endless acres of land, glittering jewelry, or a bottomless trust fund, chances are that your spiritual legacy will be valued most by those you love.
When preparing your own ethical will, some questions you might address include:
1. Who has influenced me most in my life?
2. What do I wish I had known earlier?
3. Where are some of my favorite places and what did I learn there?
4. What was the happiest time of my life? The most challenging? The time I wish I could relive?
5. What do I most appreciate? Regret most deeply?
6. How do I want to be remembered?
What do you think? Would you write an ethical will? To whom would you address it? Are there people in your life now who would care more about what you believed than what toys you left behind?
I wish my father had written an ethical will. He died when I was 4 years old, and I know almost nothing about who he was.
Which of the suggested questions would you include in your will (if any)? Why?
If you are in a committed relationship, do you know how your partner would respond to these questions? Would you like to know? Does your partner know how YOU would respond?