Annotated to guide your interests as you write your own legacy letters (ethical wills). Titles that are links may be purchased directly from with a click of your mouse. All three of Rachael Freed’s legacy books are available to download (pdf) for those who prefer to “read green”.

Your Legacy Matters:
Harvesting the love and lessons of your life

A Multi–generational guide for writing your ethical will 2013 by Rachael Freed is a book for everyman (woman), empty-nesters, boomers, those in the 2nd half of life, secular and religious, those experiencing life transitions, and celebrating life. Read an excerpt. Available to download.

Women's Lives, Women's Legacies,

Passing Your Beliefs and Blessings To Future Generations (Creating your own Spiritual-Ethical Will) by Rachael Freed, is the recipient of the GOLD AWARD in the Healthcare/Book category, 2004 National Mature Media Awards. Available to download. Read an excerpt.

Revised and Updated in 2012.

The Legacy Workbook
for the Busy Woman

A Step-by-Step Guide for Writing a Spiritual-Ethical Will in Two Hours or Less by Rachael Freed. Revised and Updated in 2012. This workbook is newly available to download so it can be used on your computer. Read an excerpt.

My Financial Legacy

Women think differently about money than men. This monograph addresses women's relationship with money. Especially in the transitions of divorce, widowhood, and retirement, women need to understand their values and beliefs about money.

Baines, Barry K

Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper - Provides basic information for creating an ethical will with examples of dif- ferent age groups. Also visit for current Ethical Will information.

Edelman, Marian Wright

The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to my Children and Yours - A small, powerful book: a spiritual-ethical will for her sons. It focuses on family legacy, passing on the Legacy of Service, a Letter to her Sons, and 25 Lessons for Life.

Eve, Nomi

The Family Orchard - A beautifully written fictional adventure about six generations of a Jewish family emigrating from Eastern Europe to Palestine to America. Eve uses the counterpoint of her father's "factual account" and her imaginative "story". A fictional family legacy from a woman's perspective.

Freed, Rachael A.

Heartmates: A Guide for the Spouse and Family of the Heart Patient, a self-help book for women dealing with chronic and life-threatening illness.

The Heartmates Journal: A Companion for Partners of People with Serious Illness - A guided, yearlong, interactive journal to record the concerns, issues and feelings that a heartmate experiences in coming to a new normal after a diagnosis… lifestyle and emotional needs, physical and spiritual concerns, needs for privacy, support and community are addressed. — Topics are useful for women struggling to deal with crises of aging.

The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln

The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln - Translated by Marvin Lowenthal. The only extant pre-modern spiritual-ethical will written by a woman, from 1690. She wrote to "keep herself sane" and to provide her children a history so they "would know from what sort of people they had sprung" and would pass that history on to their children and grandchildren.

Newhouse, Meg

Legacies of the Heart: Living a Life That Matters - Newhouse guides us to a heart-centered imprinting of our legacies on the memories and values of those we touch and in the records we leave behind. She illustrates with personal stories,her own as well as those of friends, clients, workshop participants, and people in the media. Invited to reflect on these stories, we go on a journey of transformational importance, not only for our generation but for generations that follow.

Reimer, Jack & Nathaniel Stampfer

Reimer, Jack & Nathaniel Stampfer (editors and annotators). So that Your Values Live On - Ethical Wills and How to Prepare Them- A collection of traditional ethical wills: 50+ are men's wills, about a dozen are women's. Includes a six page guide to writing an ethical will, with suggestions for topics to be covered, and a brief consideration about conveying the document.

Remen, Rachel Naomi, MD

Kitchen Table Wisdom - A collection of inspiring stories of cancer patients related to experiences of love and loneliness, healing, loss and freedom, intimacy and forgiveness. She extols the power of storytelling to "weave us together as a family" and as a human community. My Grandfather's Blessings, a sequel that works.

Strassfeld, Sharon

Everything I Know, Basic Life Rules from a Jewish Mother - A book-long spiritual-ethical will, Strassfeld writes to her daughter as she leaves home for college. A combination of stories expressing family and cultural values, direct instruction (basic rules and values to live by), and apologies for pain she caused her, accepting herself, expressing her love, naming and appreciating her daughter's gifts and limitations as she sees them.


Taylor, Daniel

Creating a Spiritual Legacy: How to Share Your Stories, Values, and Wisdom - Shows how anyone can preserve and pass on their vision of life. No matter what age or stage of life, creating a spiritual legacy both enriches the writer’s life and blesses the lives of those loved.

Turnbull, Susan

The Wealth of Your Life: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Ethical Will - The guide makes manageable what everyone wants to do someday - to reflect upon and to share the feelings, thoughts, information and messages too important to risk going unsaid or being lost over time. Financial and legal advisors will find the guide an especially effective and attractive tool to introduce their clients to a meaningful, non-legal addition to their estate plans.


Download these articles about legacy and the work of Rachael Freed.

Legacy Writing: A Spiritual Practice
by Rachael Freed for Beacon, CSH, University of Minnesota, 2016, for Andrew Weil’s and for Legacy Writer’s Newsletter,
The Most Important Letters We Will Ever Write
Memory and Meaning - Mother's Day
by Rachael Freed for,
May 2009
Why Write an Ethical Will?
by Rachael Freed for,
December 2008
A Gift to Future Generations:The Spiritual-Ethical Will by Rachael Freed for WellnessWorks, a University of Minnesota publication, Vol.2, Issue 2, Spring 2008
Living Wills Through the Lens of Legacy
by Rachael Freed, Winter 2008-09
The Ethical Will: A New Tool to Help Women Givers
by Rachael Freed, revised and excerpted from
Minnesota Law and Politics

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