A new type of will is coming into popularity: it’s called the Ethical Will. In this will the author bequeaths to his heirs not his valuables but his values. It’s a documentation of a person’s beliefs, desires, and love for his family and friends, and it can be either in written or video format.
Because of 9/11, and even the tsunami, people have come face-to-face with their mortality. Realizing with new clarity that at best life is short, people are finding they have a desire to express who they are and what they stand for to those they care about.
“We …have lawyers to make sure our property will be taken care of,” says Rabbi Jack Riemer of Boca Raton, Florida, “but what will happen to our values after we’ve gone? People are starting to make an accounting of their lives, share with their children who they are, what they stand for and what they’ve learned in life.”
Though not a legal document, an ethical will can be the most significant thing you leave behind. Your family may be scattered–perhaps in several countries of the world, and you may never have a chance to have them together in one place. An ethical will would be a way to communicate to them what is most important to you, including your faith in Jesus Christ, and your desire that each one of them have a personal relationship with Him. The Psalmist declared, “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done” (Psalm 78:4).
In another place he expressed his desire in a prayer, when he said, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:18).
If there is something you’d like to say to your family and heirs, don’t put off getting it in writing. You can do it—I know you can.
 Jeffrey Steele, “The Ethical Will: Bequeathing Values Rather Than Valuables,” Los Angeles Times, June 21, 2005, Y4.
Maybe you were given a beautiful legacy? Are you living the legacy of Christ in your life?