Funeral Industry News

Ethical Wills Part Four: Adding Legacy Letters to Your Preneed Offerings

August 6, 2019

Ethical Wills Part Four: Adding Legacy Letters to Your Preneed Offerings

In our first three posts in this series, we’ve explored the purpose and content of ethical wills, or legacy letters, and reviewed some examples of letters written by individuals nearing end of life. Many people decide to write a legacy letter while making other final arrangements, like a last will and testament or advance directive. So it seems that offering assistance with writing an ethical will in conjunction with other preneed services just makes sense.

In addition to financial reasons, your clients pre-plan their funeral services to maintain a sense of control over the way they will be remembered, and to ensure that their final wishes are recorded. These are the exact same reasons people write legacy letters!

There are a couple of different ways your funeral home can offer — and monetize — ethical will services. Which method is best for you will depend upon the resources available locally and within your business, as well as the demand for the service.

Download our Free guide on how to write an ethical will!

Outsource to a local writer

A freelance writer with solid interviewing skills should be able to work with your clients to compose a well-written letter that reflects the client’s wishes. The writer will personally meet with the client to gather content for the letter, write the letter, then send it to the client for revisions. Encourage the writer to use your facility as a meeting place for the interview to reinforce the fact that this is a service you are providing, rather than separating the process from the preneed.

You can often find a local freelance writer just through word-of-mouth, but online resources like Upwork, Thumbtack, All Freelance Writing, or even Craigslist are economical options that are certainly worth a try.

Train a staff member

Ethical wills are highly personal and are ideally written in the subject’s own voice. Sometimes it’s not the writing that keeps people from getting started; instead, it’s knowing what to write. Training a member of your team to meet with clients and help them think through the writing process is a very economical alternative.

Your employees already possess qualities like empathy, compassion, and the ability to interact respectfully and kindly with others. All they will need to add to their repertoire is the knowledge of what type content goes into an ethical will. They can simply guide your clients through the process by prompting them with questions and suggestions while the client does the writing.

We’ve created this free ethical will/legacy letter worksheet as a quick reference for you, your team, and your clients.
Click here to download!

Contract with an ethical will provider

There are several companies like Legacy Letters, Life Legacies, and Celebrations of Life that offer ethical will writing services. They either perform interviews over the phone, provide a certified writer, or provide you with comprehensive workbooks and other resources.

Download our Free guide on how to write an ethical will!