Obviously financial matters are going to be foremost on your mind when you are engaged in estate planning. However, there are other things to consider as well if you want to be completely prepared for all the eventualities of aging. For example, incapacity planning is important as well because you want to have representatives in place to make decisions in your behalf should you become unable to do so at some point in time. You should also state your wishes regarding how you feel about being kept alive on life support systems via the execution of a living will.
These are practical considerations and they are part of any holistic and comprehensive plan for aging. But there is another component that you may want to consider adding that is called an ethical will.
The ethical will is not used to transfer property or make any legally binding statements. These documents have been used in the Judaic tradition going back to biblical times, but at the present time they are recommended for everyone regardless of their background by many estate planning attorneys and other professionals who work with seniors.
Ethical wills have traditionally been composed to pass along the spiritual and moral values of the author; “rules to live by” as it were. Being privy to such an instructive document coming from the source of a bequest that you are receiving can be a very meaningful experience that helps you understand how to go forward with newly found financial abilities.
Over the course of a lifetime elders learn lessons that only experience can teach, and the fact that you will no longer be around to share your wisdom with your loved ones can leave you with an empty feeling. By composing an ethical will you are able to pass along your knowledge to future generations and in so doing provide them with access to your insights into perpetuity.
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