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Quote of the Day - Those who welcome death have only tried it from the ears up. - Wilson Mizner
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The Trend Toward Ethical Wills - Why Wait?

Here's one you don't see every day: A lawyer recommending that you don't use a lawyer. Yep, you heard it here first. Surprise, surprise.

To draft a will. Not just any will, though, an ethical will. An ethical will allows you to use a written document to pass along your values. What concerns me, though, is why the need arose in the first place. If you are truly going to pass along your values, ask for forgiveness and the like, wouldn't it be better to do that while you're alive? Isn't that what we've been teaching our children all along?

For the will that you use to pass along money and property, yes by all means use a lawyer. But for an ethical will, which is not enforceable by the Courts, you can DIY.

Well, they're your values, aren't they? Who better to write it than you?

For some who are not good writers, there are resources available. For those who want an ethical will that is written well, certainly a well-trained lawyer should be able to help you.

But be careful if you elect to write one on your own. The FindLaw story from the Associated Press (first link, second paragraph above) cautions that you should only write what you are willing to have others read, and you will want to be thoughtful and "not script others' lives." Certainly, you should not use an ethical will in an attempt to transfer money or property.

Maybe you should use a lawyer after all.

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, March 14, 2005 at 12:19 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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