Leave A Lasting Legacy

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By: Meredith Witthar | Kristina Guerrero | Adapted For Web By Dave Hanson Posted: 11:20 AM, Sep 7, 2022 Updated: 7:53 PM, Sep 7, 2022

What if we told you there was a different way to think about life… that could give it a lot more depth and significance? Rabbi Steve Leder, author of the new book, “For You When I Am Gone,” has spent 35 years helping countless people mourn their loved ones; we talked with him about how an Ethical Will can help us reflect on our lives to turn them into a meaningful legacy.

Let’s start with “what is an Ethical Will and why should you have one?”

Your last will and testament is a boilerplate, legalese, dry document written by a lawyer that’s all about possessions. An ETHICAL WILL is the emotional equivalent, and it leaves people the thing you really want to leave them — a legacy of love. Those material things that don’t offer comfort or support? Who needs ‘em! This is about sharing the emotional wealth you’ve acquired — your truths, what you believe, how you try to live, what you learned from failure, what you understand love to be, what it means to be a good person, and how you want to be remembered.

Regrets — a part of life that can become part of your legacy

As life winds down, a lot of people think about their regrets. But surprisingly, what most people regret most is not something they did, it’s something they didn’t do. The time they didn’t show up, the words they didn’t speak, the path they didn’t walk. This is an important part of your ethical will but remember, it will always change because your ethical will is a work in progress.

The most important part of an ethical will — start right now.

When is it too soon to share your truth with the people you love? Never. Because remember, your regrets are what you didn’t do… and you never know when you’re going to have your last conversation with a loved one.

An ethical will, giving you a new way to think about life.