Before planning funerals at funeral homes in Chesterfield Township, MI, many people are deciding to leave ethical wills to their surviving family members. As people start to contemplate the end of their lives, they also begin to think about what they want to leave for their families, including their children and grandchildren.
Usually people start by getting their medical, financial, legal, and digital affairs in order to ensure that everything transpires as easily as it possibly can when someone is facing the end of life, and then dies. That is an awesome gift to leave your family members, because it makes sure that the practical parts of the end of life and dying are taken care of.
However, we have other intangible things that are important to pass on to future generations. One of these things is the moral code that we live by. These are the principles we believe in and practice as best we can everywhere in our lives.
All the physical things and financial things we leave behind will eventually disappear, either because they break, they get old, or they simply get depleted. Things are finite and always come to an end.
However, our moral code, also known as our ethical legacy, is a gift that we can give to our families that won’t break, won’t get old, and will never run out. An ethical legacy might be the most valuable thing that we leave to our families after we die.
You know people who lived by an ethical code, but who didn’t pass an ethical legacy on to their families, so the ethical code died with them. Many of the scandals, disasters, and even total ruin we too often witness in famous families happen because they didn’t have an ethical legacy to live up to and to pass on to their descendants.
This should inspire you to envision how you want future generations of your family to live and prompt you to consider writing an ethical will. An ethical will is not a legal document. However, it is an explanation of how you’ve tried to live and how you would like your family to live after you die.
It’s your personal code, which involves relationships and ethics. One of the greatest examples of an ethical will is the book of Proverbs in the Bible.
What do you include in an ethical will?
First, you need to explain the code you have tried to follow in life. Included within that explanation should be the lessons you’ve gleaned from your relationships, your life experiences, your greatest successes, and your greatest failures.
Your life is full of lessons. One of the benefits of an ethical will is that it lets you take stock of the lessons you’ve learned while you are passing on practical wisdom to future generations of your family.
An ethical will should also be clear what you consider to be most valuable and important in life. It should detail what things you stand for and what things you will not turn from nor compromise on.
Although the term ethical will is fairly new, people have leaving ethical wills for a very long time. They may have consisted of a single letter written shortly before a person died or they may have been a string of conversations with family members in the days or weeks leading up to death. While not everyone has left an ethical will, many people have viewed this as the last gift they could give to their families.