The practice of making Ethical Wills began with the Jewish faith as a spoken tradition during bibical time.
This long standing custom incorporated a lot more than material assets the will’s writer wanted to leave to their posterity. These wills also had statements about what the person cherished, things they wanted their loved ones and family members to know about their dreams and passions, as well as information and advice that will give their heirs guidance morally and spiritually. Now, since the events of September 11th, this kind of spiritual will has acquired a relatively large following, especially in Western communities.
Prior to beginning a spiritual will, you need to address the question,
What is an Ethical Will?
It is not a legal docutment.
Simply put, a spiritual-ethical will is a will that is an addition to handing down material wealth with spiritual instructions on how these material objects could strengthen the inheritors’ lives or the world. As an example, if the writer of the will puts great value in education, then they might tie their $25,000 gift to their grandchild to be used only for college.
On the other hand, the author of the will may say that they wish to improve the world by bequeathing their favorite charity a share of their estate. The things they include in their spiritual-ethical will might also be a very simple declaration of affection for the time that they spent with a specific individual, or it may be poetry that expresses their personal thoughts on life, love, and relationships.
There are numerous benefits of writing your Ethical Will
The first advantage is that it gives your loved ones a bit of yourself that cannot be touched. Many people call this, The Wealth of Your Life. You get to let those who mean the most to you know how you really felt about them.
Another advantage is you are able to settle or clear up a disagreement with a person or persons you love in the event that you aren’t able to mend the strained relationship prior to your passing away. The final advantage is that you have the chance to give your loved ones pearls of wisdom that you picked up during your lifetime that they can apply to living a much better life.
The timing for writing your Spiritual legacy is entirely up to you.
It is always smart to have a will when you turn eighteen. While you grow up and build relationships, writing a will will become more and more significant, primarily when you’ve got children.
Are you curious as to how to write your spiritual legacy?
Here’s what to consider:
If you are prepared to start your ethical will all you’ll need to begin is an inventory of what’s important to you in life (your values and beliefs), a list of individuals you’d like to share your ethical will with, and some remarks on what you appreciate most in life. You may also want to start your ethical will with a statement or piece of poetry that expresses your attitude about relationships and love, your main tenants of life, or your life’s philosophy.
Next, if are are going to pass down your physical belongings to your family, give each of them an intimate message explaining a story behind each item, your hopes for them in their lives, and/or advice on how you wish for them to use what you give them.
In addition to writing, recording or video taping your values, beliefs, and advice to your loved ones, it’s also possible to mend relationships that became strained during your life. You are able to include remorse for something you may have done, or leave a message of forgiveness for someone that hurt you when you were living.
Lastly you can leave notes for collegues, students or society in general. If you care deeply for a cause, and you leave leave material wealth to them in your legal will for an important purpose, you can also leave a message to be read in front of the community that talks about relationships, love, life, and the phenomenon of community spirit. Many professors or business owners give their message while they are still alive.
The content, length, and extent of an ethical will are completely up to you. However, as you complete your spiritual-ethical will, make sure that you include things that are very important to you. You can share your ethical will with your family now and add to it as time goes on. Even teenagers write ethical wills!
“Your Ethical Will is created to give your loved ones both spiritual benefits,” explains Madeline Binder. “It is a gift beyond measure that your family will treasure for generations.”