When I tell people that I am an estate planning and elder law attorney, they…
Since many of us are stuck at home, I thought it might be the perfect time for you to start thinking about Ethical Wills.
How will you be remembered?
What could be more meaningful and cherished for your children, grandchildren, and generations after than a written reflection on your life? You might think that your loved ones know your values, and what matters most to you in the world, but you would be surprised. Our Children may know what we believe in, but your grandchildren might not. If we do not tell our loved ones what we value most, who will?
When my great-grandmother came from Poland during the Holocaust, she changed her name to her sister’s, and snuck in through Coney Island with an eye disease. She had no money, no family, and spoke no English. It wasn’t until years later where she was interviewed by my uncle that she told us what was going through her mind as she made this dangerous trip. Everyone in my family knew the facts, but we learned how scared she was, and yet she believed that getting killed by Americans was going to be better than getting killed by Nazis. She felt as if she had no other choice. Learning that gave me a look into her mind and humanized her. Although I never had the opportunity to meet her, I feel connected to her knowing her true story.
Some ideas for what you can include in your Ethical Will are as follows:
- Your nickname when you were younger
- Your favorite hobby
- Favorite vacation spot
- Greatest talent
- Describe your childhood home
- What teachers from school you remember and why?
- Anything else from your childhood, early adulthood, and present that you find meaningful and remember with great detail
An Ethical Will is not meant to come across at pitiful or depressing. It is meant to be humorous, insightful, and inspiring. You have the opportunity to leave a legacy and put yourself into the narrative. Who knows, maybe one day a book will be written about you?
Jacob Singer, Legal Assistant
Griboff Law, LLC