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Ethical Will

February 2017
Byran Kelly

Bryan Kelly, MS CFP®, is a co-founder and principal owner of The Kelly Group, which in 2017 is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Based in downtown Bel Air, the firm provides wealth management and asset management services.

Q: How is my ethical will different from a standard will?

A:  When we speak of a will, we are usually referring to a legal document – preferably drafted by an estate planning attorney – that mandates how the assets in your estate are to be conveyed upon your death. By contrast, your ethical will is a personal testament written by you. It conveys a spiritual, rather than a material, bequest. It enriches not bank accounts but hearts.  I can’t imagine how much I would treasure holding in my hands a document encapsulating the deepest thoughts and wisdom of one of my now-passed grandparents.

Q: What should I include in my ethical will?

A:  An ethical will can be as brief or as broad as you want it to be. It can simply provide the reasoning behind your formal estate plan or it can become a major project that expands into your memoirs. In an ethical will, you can share values and lessons learned from your most significant experiences. It may include a summary of what is most important to you, your hopes and dreams for your family, traditions you would like to pass on, and how you would like to be remembered.

Q: Why should I consider writing an ethical will?

A:  An ethical will is an invaluable gift both to your loved ones and to yourself. Writing your ethical will is a rare opportunity to explore and express your life’s meaning. And your heirs will cherish forever what has been described as “a window into your soul.” I95

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. The Kelly Group and Cambridge are not affiliated. 54 East Gordon Street, Bel Air, MD 21014.

The Kelly Group