One of the best and most fulfilling things you can do at your old age or as you approach retirement is writing an ethical will. Through an ethical will, you leave your dependents something more valuable than money-your legacy. An ethical will helps you pass to the next generations the values, beliefs, hopes, and dreams you hold dear to your heart.
Also known as legacy planning, writing an ethical will helps you share with your dependents meaningful life lessons and what you hope they’ll do with your estate.
Let’s explore the benefits of writing an ethical will.
1. It’s an Effective Way to Pass on Life Lessons
Unfortunately, most Americans have the wrong perception that estate planning and legacy planning is a rich-people affair. It explains why more than half of Americans (55%) die without a will or estate plan. But here’s where most people miss the point- wills are not only about money and estate division. There are far more valuable things in life that a person can leave to their families. These values include wisdom, sharing experience from life lessons, family traditions, financial principles, and spiritual beliefs.
Certainly, you cannot pass on these values and lessons by word of mouth as effectively as you would in writing. That’s why it’s important to start developing a Legacy plan as soon as you approach retirement or earlier on in your life. Writing an ethical will early gives you a chance to reflect upon your life and gather the most profound experiences you have had in life. As such, your dependents will learn from the life lessons depicted in your legacy letter and hopefully apply them in their lives. Luckily, you’ll find estate planners in Chicago or a city near you who will help you write your ethical will.
2. Ethical Wills Allow You to Explain Your Estate Planning Decisions
Through your legacy letters, you can explain your wishes regarding the management of your estate. Legacy planning allows you to explain your financial principles and tell the story of how you acquired and managed your estate. In your ethical will, you can explain in depth the reasons behind your estate division. It helps your beneficiaries understand how much each of your possessions means to you and why you chose them to inherit the properties.
Evidently, some of your property may have a sentimental value to your family’s history. For instance, if you inherited land from your grandfather or father that you pass down to your sons or grandsons, you should explain why they must keep the tradition going. This will help your dependents understand and respect your estate planning decisions.
3. You Have a Chance to Request Burial and Mourning Wishes
In your ethical will, you can communicate how you wish to be remembered after you’re gone. It’s your chance to explain why and how you want your burial to be conducted. Maybe there are some rituals that you wish your family to observe during the mourning period, or maybe you wish to be buried in a specific location. Or maybe you found God in your later days, and you wish to have a Christian funeral service. You can explain in depth all your wishes through your legacy letter.
4. Ethical Wills Allows You to Make Amends and Express Gratitude to Family and Friends
If you have wronged a certain relative or friend, you can ask for forgiveness in writing through your ethical will. It may happen that you don’t get a chance to apologize in person to people you may have wronged. Likewise, you can express your forgiveness to people who wronged you and thank your friends and families that have been good to you.
When you decide to write your ethical will, an estate planner will be ready to help you start and complete your legacy planning process. Fortunately, wealth management firms can help you develop an ethical will.
To learn more about how the Tranel Financial Group can help you develop your will, give us a call today or schedule consultation time with one of our outstanding professionals.