In this article, we will learn about what an ethical will is. An ethical will is a testament to the values one holds most dear and wishes to impart to their loved ones. It’s essential not only for people who are dying but also for those of us who want to live with intentionality in our lives. This blog post contains simple steps that you can take now as well as more complex tasks that require time and reflection.
Why should I write an ethical will
– It’s an opportunity to put your wishes on record so people know your wishes in the event you lose capacity.
– You can think about the choices and be transparent.
– Sends a signal to doctors that you want them to follow your wishes at the end of life even if they differ from those of family members, especially if you have young children.
– It will help you think about how you want to live now, not just at the end of life.
– Gives you a chance to consider making choices which may mean that if you become incapacitated, someone else can make decisions for you without conflict or fear of doing something wrong.
– You’ll be putting your wishes down in black and white – leaving nothing unsaid when it matters most.
– You can think about your wishes and have them in writing.
– It’s a way of saying thank you to the people who care for you now, whether they’re relatives or friends, health professionals and other support staff – because being well cared for can affect our sense of what’s important at the end of life.
Source: Dying Matters Resource
The primary purpose of an ethical will is to help you make decisions at the end of life if you are unable to do so. If you choose to write an ethical will, just remember it must be ethical (it’s not for those who are terminally ill). For example, it cannot contain a request for euthanasia or assisted suicide. An ethical will is not legally binding but could be used as evidence if necessary in court.
Is there a structure to an ethical will?
There is no specific structure for an ethical will. However it is noted that it should be as straightforward as possible such that the person that is handling the will be able to translate your will.
An example of what could be included in an ethical will be the preferences of the deceased for how they would like their funeral or memorial service held; Which funeral parlour you prefer; – Some names of individuals they would like to serve as key speakers at the funeral or memorial service; – Any special requests such as being buried near a grave of a loved one who has died recently or any other specific request which needs to be fulfilled. For example: having drinks by the beach and a burial service there. Or have cremation but keep some parts of the body and scatter them somewhere else.
So how do I start writing?
you can start by using the list below as a starter which allows you to get your thoughts
Things that you like
- Place (e.g. countries, hawker, shopping mall)
- Artist, Musicians
- Books, Article
- Movies, Dramas
- Food, Drinks
- Sports, teams that you support
Things about your Family
- what have you learned from your parents/ grandparents
- what have you gain from being a Husband/ Father/ Grandfather
- what have you learned from your children
- what are some of the traditions in the family
- What are the things you have learned while growing up
Things about your career
- What have you done in your career
- Some of the best moments in your career
- What is the worst decision you made in your career
- Would you have chosen the same career if given a choice
Your Life Experiences
- Few of your fondest memories
- Events that impacted you the most
- Proudest moments
- What are you grateful for
- Happiest moment
- People who have the most significant influence on you
- Your biggest regret
- The most challenging decision you ever made
- Some of the difficult times you had
- what are you most afraid of
- Individuals you would like to seek forgiveness from
Your Beliefs & Values
- Your beliefs
- Your view on religion
- Your understanding of god
- Traditions that you valued
- What success means to you
Your hopes for the future
- The values you wish to pass on
- Your hopes for your children/ wife/ grandchildren
When it comes to planning for the future, people often think about what they want their heirs to receive after death. Many don’t realise that you can leave a bequest in your will that doesn’t have anything to do with money. An ethical will leaves a legacy of values and morals behind, so they know how you want them to behave when someone inherits them.
Divine Casket Singapore was established in 2004 by the late Silvester, one of the first few embalmers in Singapore. Through his dedication to the craft of embalming, he sought to provide the best for the deceased, emphasizing respect for those who have passed and remembering those who have been left behind. His craftsmanship has earned much praise and compliment throughout the 1990s from grateful clients.
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