Examples of Ethical Wills
(Also known as Legacy Letters, Legacy Statements, Life Letters, Heart Wills, Ending Notes, Love Wills, Testaments)
Posted below are links to useful examples of ethical wills and interesting articles about them, as well as a sample letter of intent and similarly useful materials.
Against Discouragement by Howard Zinn
Aha Moments by Estelle Parsons
Before I Die: The personal life deeply lived.
Cal Ripken's Induction Speech
Commencement address delivered at Stanford Universityby Steve Jobs
Contemporary and historic examples of ethical wills (Susan Turnbull, Personal Legacy Advisors)
Ethical will of a grandfather
Ethical wills make for lasting gifts of life lessons by Diane Suchetka
Ethical Wills - Putting Your Values on Paper by Barry Baines, MD
Examples of Jewish ethical wills
Fountain Hughes, 101 (World Digital Library).
Jewish Ethical Wills (Fordham University)
Kristie Miller's Letter of Intent
Leaving a Legacy - Hospice of the Western Reserve
Legacy Letter Project.
Lost Generation. Short AARP video on YouTube. Watch it ALL the way through!
Michael Killian's message of hope for a newborn
Permission to use photo granted by the
New Orleans Civic Center
Love letters from the grave -- not just for soldiers or the deceased
Messages from soldiers in action to their families (Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune, 3-30-07)
Mutual of Omaha's brilliant campaign about 'Aha Moments'
A moment of clarity, the aha moment is a defining moment where you gain real wisdom - wisdom you can use to change your life.
My Legacy by Josh Bonventre
What I want to leave behind. I want my children to know...
Open Letter to Barack Obama from Alice Walker
On expectations, responsibilities and a new reality that is almost more than the heart can bear (The Root 11-5-08)
Payton Papers: An Ethical Will About Philanthropy.
"Your philanthropic autobiography: where did your values come from? Your ethical will: what values do you most want to pass on?"
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture.
The dying 47-year-old professor's exuberant last lecture, Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams (1 hour, 44 minutes), is worth watching. Or you can read The Last Lecture, written with co-author Jeffrey Zaslow (4.5 stars on Amazon)
Sample Legacy Letters
Life Legacies, site of Rachael Freed, founder of Women's Legacies
The Service of Love
Alli Joseph's 'This I Believe" essay about recording personal history
Telling Their Stories.
Read, watch, or listen to survivors of Holocaust, WWII concentration camps, and Japanese-American internment camps (Oral History Archives Project, San Francisco)
This I Believe (NPR).
Americans from all walks of life share the personal philosophies and core values that guide their daily lives (based on a radio program). Listen, read, or both--to NPR's extensive archive of 500-word essays.
This I Believe (Canada)
CBC's extensive archive of 500-word essays
Video tribute samples on the APH YouTube Channel.
Do one for your family!