ethical will video

The Ethical Will Video App

An Ethical Will Video allows you to pass on and share your values, beliefs, life lessons and hopes. Easily create and share an Ethical Will Video using StoryCatcher’s great questions to ask in the “Legacy” theme. Tap “Interview Tips” to see the questions.

Share: Here is an ethical will video my friend Jon and I created using StoryCatcher® | for iPhone to share a valuable life lesson with his sons, Fin and Matt.

More on Ethical Wills below the video.

In my experience, the term “Ethical Will” trips people up, gets them curious and also a little confused. The way I like to explain it is this:

“A financial planner will help you arrange and organize how to pass on and preserve your material wealth, whereas an Ethical Will serves to help you arrange, organize and pass on the essence of who you are.” ~ April Bell, Personal Historian 

Ethical Wills are a centuries old Jewish tradition and are a way to pass on your values, beliefs and philosophies. This can include lessons learned, hopes and even regrets. You can do it in writing, via audio or  via video. The format you choose is up to you.

Here’s what excites me about video:

  • We get to see the essence of who the person is, that sparkle in her eye, the sound of his voice, her laughter and the emotion behind his spoken words.
  • With StoryCatcher, we can easily add photos from the past and also screen text to state facts to support the story, such as dates or the full names of people and places referenced
  • We meet the younger generation where they’re at
  • It’s fun and easy to share
ethical will video

To create a sharable Ethical Will Video, tap on the “Legacy” in “Interview Tips” to find great questions to ask to help you get started.

What exactly is an Ethical Will Video?

When I first started capturing people’s values and stories on video in 2008, I never would have imagined that technology would evolve so quickly, allowing anyone to easily record and share life stories or ethical will video on the fly. But here we are and it’s not only possible, I’ve had the honor to co-create an iPhone app to help you do just that!

Creating your own Ethical Will Video:

If you’re the type who likes to jump in and get started right away, refining as you go, download S t o r y C a t c h e r® | for iPhone in the Apple App Store and you’ll be off and running. If you’re the type who likes to research, ponder and get ultra clear before expressing yourself, I highly recommend Dr. Barry K. Baines’ book Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values On Paper.

Imagine you had the chance to hear and experience what hopes, dreams, and wisdom your great-grandfather or great-grandmother had to share with you when he or she was your age. You can contribute that, right now, for your future generations by creating an ethical will video.

What better gift is there than that?

Download StoryCatcher® On The Apple App Store

Easily create and share personal video stories. Your privacy is number one with us. Once you download the app, you have 100% control over your media and data!

My Life in Paragaphs Card Deck

My Life in Paragraphs Card Deck

Provocative Story Prompts

StoryCatcher® comes with great story prompts already loaded inside the app. Simply tap on “Interview Tips.” If you’re wanting to go deeper, our “My Life in Paragarphs” card deck is the perfect compliment.  Get your cards now.

Live & Online Retreats

Join April Bell in engaging retreat experiences to discover your legacy stories, one paragraph at a time. Learn More about My Life in Paragraphs.



Personal Historian | Video Producer

April Bell has been capturing people’s life stories in The San Francisco Bay Area and across the U.S. since 2008. Her work has been written about in WIRED,  The New York Times, USA Today, and elsewhere. She is proud co-creator of StoryCatcher® for iOS.

Learn more about her personal storytelling work at

“StoryCatcher® is a wonderful development in the evolution of how we record, structure, and save [video] histories.”

Liz Massey, Professional Oral Historian

"StoryCatcher® is more than a home movie and more than just a slide show. This app allows you to showcase small pieces of your ... life in high quality videos without having to know any of the skills of a video editor!"

Shannon Combs Bennet, The In-depth Genealogist

"Even iPhone apps are being used to create ethical wills. April Bell, who owns a video storytelling business called Tree of Life Legacies, codeveloped the ethical will app StoryCatcher® for iPhone use."

The New York Times, Story: Ethical Wills In The Tech Age