Can you Rule from the Grave?

Some of us – I think you know who I mean – like to have plenty of control in our environment. We like to influence others around us to do things just the way we like them done. Sadly in normal circumstances this “control” is usually terminated shortly after our death.

But I know some of you have considered extending your “influence” by means of certain rules and conditions embedded in your Last Will and Testament. Some people might describe this as “bribery” and other harsher critics might go as far as to call it “coercion”.

Scenarios where the delivery of your estate (aka ill-gotten gains) is dependent on particular rules being followed. Rules such as “you won’t remarry” or “you won’t sell the house” or “you’ll look after the dog” – or if you are looking at your off-spring, “name your children after me”, “carry on the family business”, or “ditch the current boyfriend” are all very tempting.

The plan starts to get a little shaky when you consider the practicalities of the arrangement.

Firstly it is fairly clear that you are going to need some whizkid lawyer to draw up a no-loopholes legal document. That could remove a sizeable chunk of the inheritance.

And then you’d have to pay someone an ongoing stipend to monitor whatever conditions you have imposed on your “loved-ones”. And if those conditions are breached? What then? Pay some heavy to try to recoup the assets?

The whole thing is wildly impractical. You might be better off simply threatening to come back and haunt them if they don’t toe the line.

But of course – as we always like to remind you – you’ll be dead and know nothing about what goes on after you’ve shuffled off.

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