Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thy My will be done

Do you have a will? This is not a philosophical question asking about volition; I'm talking about the legal document, a.k.a. last will and testament, telling people what to do with your stuff after you're dead. If not, why not? Jessica and I have been intending to make one since we were married and have still not got around to it. We didn't even get to it after the events of the last twelve months or so. It seems like an obvious thing to do, a straightforward way of caring for those who will have to pick up the pieces after your death.

In any case, I was thinking this morning about wills and the sociological effects of the economics of singleness (or more specifically, childlessness - whether through lifelong singleness, infertility or choice). I began wondering whether there have been any studies done on the wills of childless people: do they bequeath proportionally more to organisations which promote and sustain patterns of social cohesion beyond the familial level?

I am curious: how do you think about your will? How do children (or the lack of them) shape your attitude to the future of your material blessings?
For those who might be worried, this post was not prompted by any new developments in my life (which continue to be good on the health front) or by any recent deaths or illnesses.


Anonymous said...

We finally made a will when we moved overseas for a while. It was part of tidying up our affairs in general and we needed to visit a solicitor to arrange power of attorney in any case. It was a bit of a shock to the system - we had no children at the time and no expectation of any arriving in the near future yet the solicitor made a will that catered for the dispersal of any assets down to the level of grandchildren. (He did know us well enough to know that we were unlikely to get around to changing our will as our circumstances changed.) Our son is now 4 and we really need to get around to specifying a guardian if needed.

I strongly recommend getting power of attorney for each other if married and I'm happier about having that worked out than about the will. The will still seems mostly irrelevant.