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Where to Begin?

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How do you start an ethical will? There are no rules for the content, format, size, or shape of an ethical will–it can be whatever the maker wants it to be. If your clients have trouble getting started, these questions may help them begin defining the emotional legacy they want to leave.

  • Who has influenced you most powerfully in your life? What made them so influential?
  • What are you proudest of in your life? What are your regrets?
  • What valuable lessons have you learned, and from whom?
  • What values are sacred to you? Why are they sacred?
  • What do you see as your strongest positive qualities? Are there flaws you wish you could have overcome, and weaknesses you did master?
  • What is the hardest thing you have ever had to do? How did you do it?
  • Have you ever fought for something you really believed in? How did it turn out?
  • If you could create the world exactly the way you want it, what would it be like?
  • In the twilight of your life, what would you hope your friends say about you as a person? What about your spouse? Your children? How would you want to be remembered in the wider circle of your community and the world?
  • What are your fondest hopes for your children?