What is an ethical will and does your estate plan need one?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2023 | Estate Planning

Do you want your loved ones to live an ethical lifestyle? Do you wish you could pass on the values and beliefs you have come to trust in your lifetime?

A yes answer to one or both of these questions could mean your estate plan would benefit from an ethical will (aka legacy letter). They are not legally binding, but they can add a personal touch (and value) to your estate plan.

What is it?

It is a personal document drafted to hand down the beliefs, ideals, values and precepts you hold dear. You can also look at it as a means of gifting your family with the wisdom you accumulated through the years.

Your loved ones will probably feel touched by your legacy letter, and they can learn from the lifetime of experienced insight it provides. While you cannot use the document to make legal or financial decisions, it may allow your family to feel more connected to you after you die.

Do you need one?

Minnesota has no laws mandating the inclusion of an ethical will in your documents. However, that does not mean it cannot benefit your estate plan and those you love. Such letters often become a family keepsake to add to or preserve for future generations.

An estate plan enhancement

It is wisest to complete the other parts of your estate plan before you write your legacy letter. That way, you will have critical documents like your final will, advance medical directives and powers of attorney in place should an emergency arise. Then you can sit down and write out your ethical will in peace.

Additional knowledge of estate planning for Minnesota families can also ensure your assets and loved ones remain protected.