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Susan Turnbull. The Wealth of Your Life: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Ethical Will. Benedict Press. Wenham, MA. 2005. 40 pages.
$19.95 at Amazon (click to order).
If you have thought about creating an ethical will but didn't know where or how to begin, this guide can serve as a great starting point. An ethical will is not a legal document -- it is a letter to your descendants that enables you to pass along information. You can use it for many things, including telling your loved ones how important they are, reflecting on your life, or explaining your estate plan.
Written by Susan Turnbull, a professional writer, The Wealth of Your Life is a workbook with specific advice for completing each step -- imagining your audience, writing the opening lines, reflecting and making notes, integrating your thoughts and laying out your letter, and composing the letter. As you go through the steps, the booklet includes questions to ask yourself, examples of how to get started, and space to write down ideas and thoughts. The book has separate examples and questions depending on the theme you have chosen for your ethical will.
If you want to pass information along to your family members separate from your legal estate plan, this book provides a great way to organize your thoughts and generate ideas.
For an ElderLawAnswers article on ethical wills written by Turnbull, click here.