FAQs

How is an Ethical Will presented?

The Ethical Will, also known sometimes as a Legacy Letter, is typically expressed as a written document but if you prefer you can create one as an oral or video recording- the format is your choice.  If in document form, it can be two (2) pages or ten (10) or more, depending on what you wish to express. There is no right or wrong, nor particular format.

What is the difference between a Legal Will and an Ethical Will?

A legal will has consequences in law, it is binding on the parties and addresses the distribution of property and money. An Ethical Will has no legal consequences, is not binding or enforceable. It is a personal expression of feelings, values, beliefs and love.

What if I am not a good writer nor confident in speaking?

Amy will help you brainstorm and develop your thoughts into a final product that reflects your values, ideas and goals in participating in this project. We can utilize photos, music or other familiar items in the process that can sometimes capture values and feelings better than words.

Is the Ethical Will an end-of-life document or is it prepared at other times?

Ethical Wills are written at any and every time in life including milestone birthdays, births and weddings, as well as in support of estate planning and end of life planning.

What are the costs of an Ethical Will?

The costs of preparing an Ethical Will vary depending on which format you chose for the Ethical Will and the time required to complete it. Amy will listen to your needs and explain clearly and in writing what the costs of the project will be before the Ethical Will work is commenced. You are encouraged to inquire in person about costs if you have any questions or concerns.

Where do I go to meet with Amy? Do I have to travel?

You and Amy will agree in advance upon a mutually convenient location for your meeting(s) in the NYC or Westchester County area. Most often, Amy is able to meet at your home, if that is your preference. We can also arrange for telephone or skype sessions if that is more comfortable.

May I have my daughter, son or a friend sit in on the session(s)?

Amy is happy to have a family or friend join in the session but it is recommended that there be at least one session without such individuals to ensure that your feelings and thoughts are captured without influence from any other person. If you wish, Amy can arrange to handle all communications through a person of your choice so you need not be concerned with the non-narrative details of preparing the Ethical Will.

Will I be able to change aspects of the Ethical Will once it is written?

Yes, we will agree upon a number of edit opportunities for you within the project cost before we begin. Typically, a project includes two rounds of edits. Any edits beyond that which are occasioned by your change of mind will be charged on an agreed-upon hourly basis. If the edits are required because of Amy’s mistakes, then the revisions shall be free.

Can I have both a written document and an oral recording?

Yes, Amy can arrange for either or both of these options.

What do I do if I want to learn more?

Call HeirloomWords at (914) 629-2788 or use our contact form for more information and we will be happy to reply to your inquiry. No pressure, no cost.