Ethical Wills and Legacy Planning
Our New York elder law attorneys are innovators in the emerging field of Ethical Wills and Legacy Planning.
A life well-lived is so much more than the mere stockpiling of assets; drawing that life to a close should be more meaningful than simply dividing and distributing those physical assets. There’s so much more to offer your family from the true wealth of wisdom and experience that you’ve accumulated simply by living your own mistakes and successes.
An ethical will offers you the opportunity to do just that. Whether written, spoken, or filmed, an ethical will is the chance to make your definitive life statement to those who will carry on your legacy. It’s certainly rewarding to have the peace of mind that the financial needs of your loved ones have been met; however, it’s just as important to ensure that your emotional, philosophical, and spiritual legacy is carried on after your death. In fact, recent research suggests that the Baby Boomer generation sees the transmission of values, morality, and ethics as significantly more important than the division of finances. Some parents and spouses offer practical life advice in their ethical wills; some wax poetic, spending their time ensuring that important family memories and histories are transferred from generation to generation. Our elder law attorneys can help you pinpoint the moral, ethical, and spiritual values you’re most concerned with passing on to your children and grandchildren.
Although an Ethical Will is not typically a legally binding document, it can be invaluable in ensuring that your survivors are reminded of your values and priorities as they go through the emotional process of saying goodbye, and as they spend their lives passing those values on to their children and grandchildren. In fact, a recent trend in the field of Ethical Wills has seen parents and spouses oversee the delivery of their Ethical Wills while they’re still alive. Your family will certainly appreciate the care with which you’ve considered them as they are reminded that the separate episodes of your life merge into one story, one overriding theme.
In addition to Ethical Wills, our elder law attorneys offer consultation services in Legacy Planning. Legacy Planning simply involves taking time, while you have it, to consider how best to ease your family members and loved ones into your inevitable absence.
A Legacy Plan can be as detailed as the individual chooses. Some clients simply want to plan their own funeral, removing that burden from their spouse and children. Others have specific wishes for property or pets that they’d like to request their family members handle for them. Some clients even go so far as to compile lists of repair services, warranty information, and computer passwords. Together, an Ethical Will and Legacy Plan create one more avenue to care for the family you’ll be leaving behind, freeing your loved ones to spend their time in remembrance of the life you’ve lived and the story you’ve created together—a story that goes on.