Ethical Will Examples: Extended Collection Written by people at different stages of life

Ethical Will of CP

The author of this ethical will was a 47 year old woman who was stricken with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). In addition to being unable to use her arms or legs, this woman also lost the use of her voice. She used a ‘light-board’ for communication. This is a method where a light was attached to her head, and by pointing to a letter board, words can be ‘written’. This ethical will took two months to produce, and was basically done one sentence at time at each social worker visit. The effort to produce even one sentence was exhausting, yet she insisted and persisted on creating her ethical will for her spouse and three children. Soon after finishing the ethical will, she died. The ethical will afforded her a sense of completion, and also enabled her family to let go. Her ethical will was read and displayed at her funeral.

The most important values that have guided me are:

Serenity Poem

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

The Ten Commandments

You shall have no other gods before Me

You shall not make idols or graven images or bow down to them nor worship them

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you

You shall not murder

You shall not commit adultery

You shall not steal

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor


Walk in another person’s shoes


Prepared October & November 1998