Saturday, May 06, 2006

Examples of Ethical Wills

In our talks and classes, I encourage people to create an ethical will that best represents who they are, speaks in their unique voice, and employs a format that works comfortably for them -- either writing the document, audiotaping it, or videotaping for viewing by others. Audio and video versions should be transcribed to create a written document which can be more easily preserved (who knows what the next technology will be -- and whether our generation's old audio/videotapes will be able to be played in 2050? Remember the Beta vs. VHS format "battle"! Anyone seen a Beta videotape player lately?).

Participants often ask to see samples of documents others have created. I provide a couple of one to two page ethical wills and refer people to the many samples available on Barry Baines website, www.ethicalwill.com (see "Links"). A variety of documents done by people of different ages and life situations is provided at:

Examples of Ethical Wills

I also plan to provide "excerpts" from ethical wills done by people who previously took our class as well as some excerpts from my own document (which I'll share in a blog posting someday soon).

In my view, the most important thing is that people use their own creativity to envision an ethical will which genuinely represents their life spirit in both format and content. Some people incorporate photos of family, friends, mentors, and others who have influenced their life. Others include drawings or artwork they have created and clippings of old newspaper articles about them or major life-transforming events in their life. Or, they write a brief one-page "love letter" that blesses their family members and future generations.

It's your choice ... it's your life journey... it's your ethical will. And remember, the document can be changed and updated whenever you like ... and shared with loved ones now or later (but hopefully, before you've passed from this earth!).
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3 comments:

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