START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

What is an Ethical Will?

  • 1 of 5
What is an Ethical Will?

By Anne-Marie Botek, Editor

Close your eyes and think about a beloved ancestor of yours that has passed away.

Pretend that you are standing before them, able to speak and communicate with them just as you would if they were still alive.

Now, think about all the questions you would ask them if you could.

What were their lives really like? What were the values they held dear? What do they regret? Whom do they seek forgiveness from, and whom do they wish they had forgiven while they were still alive?

For many of us, this is as close as we will ever get to being able to discern the wishes and whims of our predecessors.

That is of course, unless your deceased relative has left behind a document known as an ethical will.

The Power of Telling Family Stories
Memory Keepers: Preserve Family Memories
Conversation Starters: 20 Questions to Ask Your Parents

Ethical Wills Lend Clarity to Caregivers and Serenity to Seniors originally appeared on

  • 1 of 5

Read more: Family, General Health, Healthy Aging, Life, , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.


+ add your own
11:54AM PDT on May 30, 2012

This seems like a lovely idea... and one I had not heard of in quite this way before.

8:59AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Many thanks

8:25AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Wow, what a powerful idea!

5:08PM PDT on May 21, 2012

I wrote letters to my family members to put in with my legal will. Asked for them back several months ago as I need to update the letters. Better get to it! Thank you for the inspiration.

10:22PM PDT on May 20, 2012

My father-in-law passed away last September. He left numerous photo albums of people who were unnamed. We have no idea who they are. I regret that we did not look at these photos while he was living, then we would be able to tell our son who his ancestors were. Most of us wait too late to ask these questions.

5:58PM PDT on May 20, 2012

Even just sitting down with your grandmother and her photo album and recording the conversation opens up quite a bit of knowledge even of her childhood friends and the places the family lived.

Thanks for the article.

2:30PM PDT on May 20, 2012

Good info to have. Thanks for the article Anne.

11:31PM PDT on May 19, 2012

My father wrote his family history for a booklet, of course, also briefly mentioning my mother's background history. It could have been far more comprehensive - that's why I think it should not be left till someone is at an advanced age. I really value it because his life experiences were so different to today's world.

3:01PM PDT on May 19, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

2:48PM PDT on May 19, 2012

aww very interesting

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Eating finally accomplished...

what a cute kitty. I love the name Winnie. I wonder if she'll still carry on the Dragon sound :D

Thanks, I love these suggestions

Some good suggestions thanks.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!