The Ethical Will: Sharing Life Lessons with Your Family

The Ethical Will: Sharing Life Lessons with Your Family

As we near the end of our lives, we sometimes reflect on the lessons we’ve learned. Memories bring smiles to our lips – and tears to our eyes. Even if you’ve already told your family the story of your life, you might want to consider writing an ethical will.


An ethical will, or legacy letter, is a written expression for your family to cherish after you’re gone. Little things that families may have forgotten or that you’ve never shared before can be included in an ethical will.

For example, you might include any or all of the following information in an ethical will:

  • Family history.
  • Personal history.
  • Beliefs and opinions.
  • Something you did that you’re proud of.
  • Something your loved ones have done that you’re proud of,
  • Something you learned from your parents or grandparents.
  • Little-known facts about your early years.

There’s no formula to follow. Just include whatever you think is important.


Writing an ethical will is probably not something you can do in one sitting. You might consider keeping a journal or diary. As you reflect on your life, write down what’s important. When you feel you’re ready, review your notes and start writing.

The format you use isn’t as important as how you organize your thoughts. You might try sorting your information into categories like family history, beliefs, or advice.

Once your letter is finished, put it with your other important estate planning documents.


Some people might start writing their legacy letter when an important milestone occurs and just add to it as needed. Others may start writing in their later years. When you start is up to you.

Learn More About Sharing Your Life Lessons.

Estate planning documents give their makers an opportunity to state their final wishes, or what type of medical treatment they want, among other things. While it’s not a legal-binding document, an ethical will can be an important part of your estate plan.

We look forward to helping you preserve and protect your legacy through strong estate planning. Please call us at 772-324-9050 to schedule an appointment or complete our convenient Contact Form. Located in Palm City in Martin County, we also serve other surrounding areas like Stuart, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Jupiter.

Main Menu