Ethical Will Examples Written by people at different stages of life

Ethical Will of Patricia, Age 38

I wrote this to my then 14-year-old son while he was away at Confirmation camp. I was 38 at the time and had been remarried for almost 3 years. Until that point I was a single mom who got divorced when he was 3. I also have another son – at the time I got divorced he was 1. My 14-year-old chose to go live with his dad and step mom so he could attend a different high school. It was an amicable decision all around as they only live 5 miles from me.

I didn’t really start this to be an “ethical will” but when I look at it, it is just that! Kind of cool! I love the concept. I’m now in the process of writing my youngest, who is now 14, and starting high school…and moving to his dad’s as well. I’m going to be an empty nester at 41. Yow!

Dear Matt:

I love you! Yep, I do! But, you should know this by now!

I can’t believe you are starting high school in a week or so. I remember high school so vividly – as a time of anxiety, fun, experimenting and most of all friendships. I was all too clear to me how important high school was to me at my 20-year reunion a couple of weeks ago. And, I am a bit sad that you won’t be living with me throughout these years, but I am also glad that you have such a great relationship with dad and your step mom.

Just remember that I am ALWAYS here for you – no matter where you are. It might seem strange to you to come to me with your problems, or concerns, or joys…. but you can, anytime. You really can tell me anything. I may “wig out” at first, you know me, after I calm down I can be downright rational and have good advice!

Throughout your 14 years I have tried to be the best mom I can be. I haven’t always succeeded, but I think I’ve done pretty darn well! As a single mom for so much of your life, it hasn’t always been easy. Luckily I have a wonderful support system that got me through the tough times. I apologize for the times that I wasn’t the mom you would have liked.

Teenagers can be real pains in the butt (I’m sure I was) but they soon grow out of it and become pretty neat adults! I hope through your teenage years I can look past the irritating times and see your goodness. And I hope you can appreciate the things I need to do, as a mom, to help you grow into the best possible adult you can be. There will be times you will “hate” me because of my rules or advice…but I can handle that because I know you will see why I have to do some of the things I do once you are older. Hang in there with me, Bob, dad and during those times when you think we are “out of it.”

Matt, you are one neat kid! Really! I appreciate your sense of humor and your kindness. I am so darn proud to call you my kid…. and so darn proud to be your mom!

Confirmation is a big step. It is one step closer in your walk with Christ. In those times when you think no one is on your side, He is. Pray and praise God. You will rely on Him throughout your entire life. I know I do.

I love you, Matt.