In Minnesota, a legacy letter or ethical will should be a separate from your estate plan. Yes, legacy letters or legacy videos are an excellent way to help families and loved ones carry on your legacy.
However, if you only remembered one thing, do not allow your legacy letter or ethical will to trump or negate an estate plan.
What is a legacy letter?
In general, a legacy letter outlines dates, events, and accomplishments you want to share with your alive and unborn family members.
An ethical will can be a few paragraphs or equivalent to a novel titled War and Peace. More recently, legacy letters are being turned into videos, put to music, and being posted on-line.
A legacy letter does not take the place of your estate plan
No, a legacy letter should never question or contradict an estate plan like your will or trust. This means an ethical will should never incorporate a person’s thoughts or believes regarding the transfer of property or funding a trust.
Also, an ethical will should never be used to assign parental rights, identify where organs should be donated, or include information about an end of life burial or celebration.
Any document or video that contradicts an estate plan puts a person’s property and bank accounts at risk of being challenged in probate court. This law office works with people and families to reduce or negate this risk.
What do people include in an ethical will?
Generally, an ethical will includes information like:
- Your values and beliefs,
- Life lessons,
- Expressions of love,
- Clarifying significant events, and
- Talking about past generations.
When should you create a legacy letter or ethical will?
Even if you anticipate living for another 50 years, a person working through the estate planning process should consider the significance of a legacy letter.
Resources to create or print a legacy letter
Many individuals and families have used resources like Shutterfly or similar companies when printing a final version of a legacy letter or ethical will.
Need help with your ethical will?
Contact this law office if you have questions about an ethical will,