Estate Planning, Trusts, Probate

Preserving Your Legacy


Published in

The Santa Monica Star

Volume XIX Number 11

November 2016

Planning Ahead:

Preserving Your Legacy

By Lisa C. Alexander, Esq.

Lisa C. Alexander

is an attorney at

Jakle & Alexander, LLP

For further questions, regarding this topic, please contact Lisa at:


(310) 395-6555


Legacy is not just about leaving your family money or property. And it’s not even really about death. It’s about who we are, living our lives in a way that reflects who we are and passing our life experiences and meaning we have found in life to the next generation. One way to preserve our legacy is to make an “Ethical” Will.

An Ethical Will is not a legal document that says “who gets what,” but is more like a memoir, a letter to the next generation to share your life stories, your personal beliefs, and hopes and advice for the future. The Ethical Will is a complement to the legal estate plan documents of your Last Will and Testament and Living Trust.

If you are thinking of writing your own Legacy Letter or Ethical Will, it might be helpful to give yourself the structure of covering set topics such as your life history, stories and memories of your family, memorable life experiences, your values and beliefs, and hopes for the future. You can include family photos or even recipes such as Helen’s Jell-O Salad, to pass on to the next generation.