Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper (Second Edition)

Rated 4.86 out of 5 based on 14 customer ratings
(14 customer reviews)


SKU: 3210 Category:


By Barry K. Baines, M.D.   •   Soft cover book, 217 pages

A comprehensive resource that provides information on the rich history of Ethical Wills, various approaches you can use to write your Ethical Will, and an assortment of examples to inspire your writing. Everyone wants to be remembered and we all leave something behind. Proactively creating your Legacy of Values and sharing it with your loved ones and future generations provides them with a cherished gift, the value of which can’t be quantified.

This book also includes a section about writing a Living Will, also known as an Advance Health Care Directive.

All copies will be signed by the author.

Editorial Reviews

“A primer on the subject.” — Financial Advisor, November 2006

“[An] excellent resource for those who wish to write their own ethical wills.” — The Tidings, 9/15/2006

Additional information

Weight 11 oz

14 reviews for Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper (Second Edition)

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    I consider Dr. Baines to be “The expert” in the field of Ethical Wills and have learned a tremendous amount on the subject because of the information contained in this book. Highly recommend this book.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is a great introduction to ethical wills. They sound really mysterious but it’s a great concept — writing a letter to the future — that’s a really valuable gift for a family. And it’s a really useful process for the writer. It can give you a whole different perspective on how valuable your experiences are.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    If you are searching for a venue to create a legacy for your family that will continue for generations to come, purchase Bary Baines Ethical Wills, Second Edition to assist you in preparing this written legacy. The intriguing concept of sharing ones’ values and ethics is a priceless investment not only to the writer but to everyone who will ever read the document. Baines also includes information and insight into another important document that everyone needs to write: The Living Will. This book is a valuable investment that is worth more that you will ever pay. It is well written, inspiring and when you complete it you will have a legacy to leave your heirs.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Even when I see this book just sitting there on my book shelf, it triggers more thoughts about my own life and what I will leave behind. This book gives you something to think about and to work with. It will touch your heart. It’s a great resource whether you are writing your own ethical will or helping others write about the values they want to leave behind. Dr Barry Baines is caring, honest, and has in-depth experience which he shares with us in this book. I found myself coming back to it over and over again.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Buy this – try it out. Ever wanted to make sure that your children know exactly why you feel the way you do about something or someone? This book will show you how to put all of your values on paper – you need this.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ethical Wills by Barry Baines, MD breaks new ground in the ethical will movement within the US. Written for easy comprehension, this book covers the topic in excellent fashion, while providing the inspiration so essential to completing the task of putting our values in print for those we leave behind. I highly recommend this book, not only for the informational content, but for the encouragement it brings for completing the process. The section on living wills and advance directives is also very informative and useful. For those looking for a single source of information on this subject, Ethical Wills by Barry Baines is an outstanding resource.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Most wills are legal documents. They discuss how to split up the physical assets you have accumulated over the years. For the most part this comes down to money, perhaps a few treasured possessions, a house/car/boat, and so on.

    A second legal document is a living will. It is a document that directs decision makers if you are no longer capable of making decisions on your own. Perhaps the most famous such situation in recent memory was that of Terri Schiavo. In the absense of a living will, the courts said that her husband was the one legally in charge of making these decisions. As you probably remember, her parents held different opinions, but in the long run the husband was in control.

    An Ethical Will, on the other hand, is not a legal document but a letter you might write to your family to express the values you hold dear. It’s a document that explains how you think, perhaps why you think that way. This little book explains Ethical Wills, gives some excellent examples, and explains why you might want one.

  8. Rated 3 out of 5

    I purchased Barry K. Baines, Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper, at the suggestion of a friend who had read it and been inspired to write an ethical will for her children. It seemed like a good idea to me. We cannot help but relay our values and beliefs to our children–they pick them up by osmosis. I think, though, that we seldom sit down and think through what we would LIKE to convey to our children, including ways in which we have not lived up to our values or would like them to do better than we.

    At the same time that I bought Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper, I also bought Rachael Freed’s Women’s Lives, Women’s Legacies: Passing Your Beliefs & Blessings to Future Generations. I prefered this book. It may be that I prefered the second book because, as a woman, it spoke more to my concerns, but I think not. Dr. Baines focuses on his work with the terminally ill, and the healing power of putting our thoughts on paper. Many of the examples he gives read like old Polonius’s hipocritical, “Neither a barrower nor a lender be…,” platitudes that most in this culture would accept. Ms. Freed takes us on a journey of discovery–discovery of ourselves. Whether done in a group, as Ms. Freed suggests, or independently, as I would most likely tackle such personal writing, her topics are likely to bring us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and enable us to create a more personal document for our loved ones.

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ethical Wills is a must read for each and everyone of us! Not only is it fascinating to learn about the history behind such wills, but the workbook he provides the readers with is such an valuable tool.

    We all need to be concerned about writing an ethical will while we are still able to communicate our wishes. My late mother had Alzheimer’s and it was so very devastating and frightening to see her no longer able to communicate her wishes. Thankfully, we had spoken about what she wanted her last wishes to be long before Alzheimer’s destroyed her mind.

    I do not know if I, too, will one day suffer her same fate so I am taking all of the necessary steps NOW while I am still able to communicate to make my final wishes known. This book has been an invaluable help to me as well as another wonderful new publication by Renata Marie Vestevich. “Grant Me My Final Wish: A personal journal to simplify life’s inevitable journey.” This book is a wonderful companion to Dr. Baine’s book. While his book is a workbook of sorts, Ms. Vestevich’s book is a beautifully bound journal that you can write in whenever you have time. These two books work beautifully together. Ms. Vestevich’s book leads you gently through the process of making your final wishes known to your loved ones. She guides you through the process of making that ethical will in a very compassionate manner. There is even a place within the journal for you to place beloved pictures and write down special memories.

    None of us likes to dwell upon our eventual death. However, having seen my mother destroyed by Alzheimer’s and her being no longer able to communicate even the simplest of wishes, I strongly urge all of you to take steps now to make your last wishes known!

    These two superbly written books…each very special in their very own way..will help you do just that.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Dr. Barry Baines provides a thoughtful explanation of ethical wills, describing for readers the historical context of the practice and outlining how people today can leave a lasting legacy for their loved ones by putting their values on paper. The guidance he provides in this handbook makes it possible for anyone to write an ethical will, whether they’ve just learned of the practice or grown up reading ethical legacies of their ancestors. This is an excellent guide.

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper provides a terrific introduction to ethical wills, with historical background, specific guidelines for writing an ethical will, and a variety of samples. With its reader-friendly tone and clear suggestions, Ethical Wills makes a useful handbook for anyone interested in creating such a document. I especially appreciated the sample wills to show a range of approaches.
    This book was a great help to me when I started writing ethical wills. As a member of the Association of Personal Historians, I help others record their own ethical wills and family stories. I keep this book in my professional library and recommend it often.
    My only beef? It’s too short! I wanted more samples and more history. Guess I’ll have to wait for Dr. Baines’ next book.

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    I found this to be a wonderful guide to ethical wills. As a video biographer I often find that clients wish to speak about their values and beliefs, and tell their loved ones how important they are. This book enabled me to aid my clients with this aspect. The time spent on values is often one of the most touching and commented on parts of the final video. I found out about this book through the Association of Personal Historians, as a member of this group the author has contributed greatly to our knowledge in this area.

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    As the creator of a product … designed specifically for assisting in writing an ethical will, I share the same mission as Dr. Baines. In our world of materialistic accumulation, this book helps an individual realize that the most valuable thing that can be left to heirs is a “love letter.” It is heart touching to read the samples of ethical wills which Dr. Baines shares with his readers; especially emotional is the one that the author’s own father wrote when he knew he was dying. The book shows that creating a written legacy is a treasure from one’s heart, an intangible gift, and can be done by anyone whether rich or poor.

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    While most of us at some time in our lives have thought about the kind of legacy we would like to leave behind, few of us have actually written the words down. How do we want to be remembered? What messages do we want to leave for our families, and the significant people in our lives? Dr. Barry Baines has written an excellent guidebook on how to put these words and thoughts on paper. His writing is straightforward, understandable and filled with humor. More importantly, the book is rich with examples. Dr. Baines has collected “ethical” wills from people of all ages and stages of life. As Dr. Dan Tobin writes in the foreword, “. . .you will find that this book is not only about creating such documents, but about living and aging well.” Buy the book today and start putting your values on paper. Your words will be one of the greatest gifts you can bestow on those you love.

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