What is an Ethical Will and How Do I Write One?

What is an Ethical Will and How Do I Write One?
An Ethical Will is a document that you write for your loved ones containing the wisdom you have gathered throughout your life. Learn more here.
2 minute read


When we think about our deaths, sometimes our thoughts turn not to our mortality but to those who will carry on after we die.

Our friends, our family, and the people who are with us now during life—we think about what they will remember about us.

We’re all familiar with Wills that talk about possessions and property, but there is also an Ethical Will or a Legacy Letter that we can leave behind for our loved ones to remember us.

What is an Ethical Will?

An Ethical Will is a document that you write for your loved ones containing the wisdom you have gathered throughout your life for after you die.

This document contains teachings, regrets, apologies, hopes, and dreams for those who will live beyond your years. This Will can be so much more valuable than a will about possessions or property.

This Ethical Will leaves your wisdom as a gift to those who loved you when you were alive.

Writing an Ethical Will

You don’t need to wait until you’ve reached a certain age to begin writing an Ethical Will.

No matter how old you are now, the process of writing an Ethical Will helps you to think about what you want people to remember about you even after your funeral or cremation.

You’ll develop an image of the kind of person you want to be now because of how you want people to remember you.

There are no hard and fast rules about writing an Ethical Will. No matter how simple or elaborate the Will is, preserving your legacy as a gift for those you love will help them live better lives after you go.

Your Truth

At the core of your Ethical Will is your truth. The only way to make this Will meaningful is for you to write what you believe in and write what you care about. Your true feelings. The authenticity of your words strengthens the memory of your life.

Pass on Wisdom

Use your Will to pass on the lessons that life has taught you for those who will live beyond you. Talk about what you truly think life is about and what makes life good. Write about the person you hope you were to the people who will read your Ethical Will.

You can also use this Will to heal relationships. Talk about people you might have hurt and apologize, and include any regrets you might have about your life.

These topics might be difficult to write about, but they can help those you leave behind to forgive, forget, and move forward.

Create a Legacy


This Will is one fulfilling way to ensure you leave behind a beautiful memory for your loved ones.

Take time to write down your core beliefs. Write down your hopes for the people around you. This introspection is one way to start drafting your Ethical Will. You might need to take some time to get in touch with yourself before you begin writing.

Remember, this Will is a gift to those who will succeed you. Give them the truth and help them live better lives through your example and words.