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An Ethical Will is a document written as a conveyance of your values, aspirations, counsel, love, and even forgiveness for those you leave behind. Unlike a Living will or last will and testament, an Ethical Will is not considered a legal document but rather a personal message of reflection and intent.
Ethical Wills are not new but rather a written extension of an ancient, oral tradition dating back to biblical times. The Hebrew Bible, Christian Bible and many other cultures refer to the tradition of elders bequeathing the wisdom of their long-lived lives to students, friends and family. Today, many people choose to write ethical Wills at turning points in their lives or when facing challenging life situations. An Ethical Will is commonly shared with your family and friends while you are still alive.
At Gregory Advisors Inc., we highly recommend to many clients that they consider creating Ethical Wills. After meeting and working with nationally renowned Ethical will consultant Dr. Barry K. Baines, Medical Director at Ucare Minnesota and Associate Medical Director of Hospice of the Twin Cities, we have come to believe that an Ethical Will may be one of the most cherished and meaningful gifts you can give your loved ones and yourself.
Dr. Baines reminds us that clarifying and communicating the meaning of our lives is not only important to our loved ones — it is a gift we owe ourselves. In the process of reflecting upon the past, learning about ourselves, facing our mortality, and recapturing personal and family stories, we deepen and enrich our lives.
While we work very hard at Gregory Advisors, Inc. to help you leave a properly planned financial legacy, an Ethical Will allows you to also leave a legacy of your values, inspirations and life lessons. If you have an interest in, or are just curious to learn more, we encourage you to ask us about the process of writing an Ethical Will.