A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his property at death. At one point in time, people passed on their properties by word of mouth but, as times grew more complex, written proof was required.
In today’s world, people find themselves compelled to draft their wills at relatively young ages so as to avoid confusion later. A will must be updated regularly for the simple reason that death is sudden. Death does not ask permission or give warning before arriving at one’s doorstep. In such an event, if a proper will is not ready, complications arise as to how the estate and possessions of the deceased are to be disposed of.
It is not uncommon to hear of cases where, even when an up-to-date will is ready, after the death of the testator, conflicts do arise. How, then, is it to be expected that, without an updated will, proceedings can carry on smoothly? The main reason for the requirement of an updated will is man’s greed. The world has enough to provide for man’s need but not enough for his greed.
Although death is a time for mourning, grieving and sadness, people, usually family members, sometimes take advantage of lack of an updated will for their own benefit. Another issue that arises from lack of an updated will is this question: What is to be done with the possessions of the deceased not outlined in the scope of the will?
Until now, we have only spoken about greed and misuse of a redundant will. But what about the honest family members of the deceased who deserve some part of the deceased’s property, and would have received such part, if it wasn’t for the fact that the will wasn’t updated? Especially in large families, joint families when the patriarch or matriarch passes away, every single family member rightfully deserves something, which they would have received had the will been updated.
It is the responsibility of the testator to his/her family members to update his/her will from time to time so as to spare the family from unnecessary complications especially at a time when the family would be grieving. The death of a family member is a loss for everyone and is only compounded by the fact that legal issues also come into play.
It is wise to update one’s will on a regular basis so as to avoid confusion and conflict between loved ones, as well as to spare them extra grief dealing with legal issues at a time when they would rather be mourning.