The Ethical Will: Background information when reading Happier Endings

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Happier Endings

A Meditation on Life and Death

By Erica Brown

Happier Endings
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2013,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2014,
    416 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Ethical Will

The author of Happier Endings believes that creating an ethical will is an important part of facing and diminishing the fear of death. She includes an appendix with prompts designed to inspire readers to at least begin this potentially intimidating document, and then to work on it a little bit at a time. An ethical will differs from the traditional assets-focused will in that it communicates lessons and values rather than specific financial instructions. Formats and contents of ethical wills vary as much as people do; personal letters, miniature life histories, bullet-pointed advice and intangible bequests are all options.

Jacob and RachelThe American Association of Retired Persons' caregiving guide on ethical wills recommends that they be shared with recipients while the will's writer is still alive. According to the reference companion Jewish Religion (Louis Jacobs, 1995), the idea of passing on traditions and values to family before death may have originated in the Old Testament era ...

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