ethical will

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An ethical will is a writing regarding a person’s history, wishes, beliefs, or other personal information which that person wishes to be given to certain individuals upon that person’s death. This will has no legal significance, but the practice is used to express meaningful thoughts which a person may not get the chance to express later. The practice is often traced to Jewish and Christian followers using ethical wills to convey religious morals and beliefs that have been developed over time, but now people create ethical wills for a variety of reasons. 

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team