An Ethical Will is not a binding, legal document but rather one that is written by you, to your family and friends, as a legacy of what you want them to know and remember about you. Its contents can be summarized by the following questions (familiar to some as the prologue to meditation):
- Who were you?
- What did you truly want?
- What was your purpose?
Why do it? An Ethical Will is an extension of who you are - a form of continuity, perpetuity. It explains. It gives you the ability to say things you may have left unsaid. It's introspective and passes on your hopes and wishes for others. In a sense, it's a way of controlling your outcome.
http://www.survivorship.org/ lists some topics you may want to consider:
- What would I not want left unsaid if I died tomorrow
- My definition of true success
- The lessons I've learned in life
- Why I love you and why I will miss you
- What I appreciate the most
- What I've learned from mistakes
- What I've learned from other members of my family/friends
- What spirituality means to me
- My happiest/saddest/funniest moments
- My wishes for you/my husband/my children etc.
Preparation of an Ethical Will is a soul-searching process - it's a special inventory of your aspirations, hopes, principles - your life's work. Open a file - add to it when you think of something that says "you". Keep this information in the same safe place as your other legal documents. Here's a free template: http://www.ethicalwill.com/