Weather Alert  

AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM SATURDAY TO 11 PM SATURDAY The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties: Suffolk and Nassau. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for ozone. The air quality index, or A Q I, was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the A Q I value, the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated, the New York State Department of Health recommends limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young, and those with pre existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting a physician. For additional information, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation web site at,, or call the Air Quality Hotline at 800-535-1345.

Leaving Behind the Wealth of Life

Across the United States, ethical wills have become a growing estate planning tool used to ensure legacies for generations to come. Many Americans are beginning to realize there may be a gap in their estate ...

Print Email

Across the United States, ethical wills have become a growing estate planning tool used to ensure legacies for generations to come.

Many Americans are beginning to realize there may be a gap in their estate plan. Sure, long-term care insurance, a living will, a regular will, and other important estate documents are essential to a comprehensive plan. But how do you make known your wishes for the financial legacy you leave behind?

A growing estate planning tool being emphasized by religious leaders, estate planners and financial professionals is the ethical will. You sit down, talk about your experiences in life, your family history, relatives, interesting stories, lessons you've learned, and finally, what you'd like to see done with the assets you leave behind. They are not legally binding documents, but they serve as a reminder. Numerous books are available on the topic, which can help you formulate an idea of what exactly you want to say and how you'll say it.

In a recent Harris Interactive poll of 1,200 Americans aged 40 to 59, 77% of those surveyed said that knowing exactly their parent's values was very important, while only 10% said it was important that they inherited financial assets from their parents.

More and more financial professionals are advising clients to prepare ethical wills during the estate planning process. An ethical will is seen as an all-encompassing moral vision for the legal and financial documents you've prepared. It can save time and hassle, as well as heart-break, for relatives wanting to learn more about your life.

But it's also about making sure generations to come can turn to you for advice and wisdom, even if they've never even met you. As families grow, so do the stories, the memories and the struggles. Those stories eventually begin to fall through the cracks, long-lost relatives fade into history and things are forgotten. An ethical will sheds light on the past. It keeps the stories and the memories alive. Most importantly, it leaves behind an example of the type of life you lived, and what you want your loved ones to know.

An ethical will is certainly not a new concept. The Bible makes references to several cases of ethical wills being passed on in some form or another. But with more and more people expected to become retirees in the next few decades, ethical wills are quickly taking their place alongside legal and financial documents in the planning process. There is more opportunity than ever before to team up with a financial professional during the estate planning process and make sure your values, lessons and wishes are known.

The only question is: What are you going to say?

Lawrence D. Sprung, CFP of Mitlin Financial Inc., is a Registered Representative with Securities America, Inc., a Registered Broker/Dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm. Lawrence D. Sprung, Investment Advisor Representative. Mitlin Financial Inc. and Securities America are unaffiliated. He can be reached at (631) 465-2017 or by e-mail at Feel free to forward any questions, or future topics you would like to see discussed to and put in the subject line.