A Collection of Wills – Quiz

Here is a collection of Wills from well-known people across the ages. Your quest, should you accept the challenge, is to guess who has written which Will?

 

Will Number 1

Next her Majestye I will now returne to my deere wyfe, and sett downe that for her, which cannot be so welle as I would wyshe it, but shal be as well as I am able to make it, having alwaies founde her a faythfull and verie loving and obediente carefull wyfe, and so do I truste this will of myne shall fynde her no less myndfull of me beinge gone, than I was alwaies of her being alyve.  I do gyve and bequeath to my said deere wyfe, over and besides the joyneture I have made her, the lease of Drayton Bassett, freely to gyfe and dispose at her will.  Item, there be certeine parsells of grounds which I bought of the Earle of Oxenforde, being sometime belonging to the house of Crambroke, § and I reserved purposely to be joyned to the parke of Wanstead, as also the parcell of groung called Waterman’s, which I bought of the lorde of Buckhurste, which I do also freely gyve and grante to my said wyfe for ever, with the mannor of Wansted already assured unto her.  Item, I do give to my said wyfe, during her lyfe, all other lands and tenements which I did purchase in the lordship of Wansted, besydes that is past by deede with the howse and mannour to her before. . . . 

 

This man has given a list of many of his extensive assets outright to his wife, while others he has left to her for her lifetime

Will Number 2

SHOULD any child of mine be under age at the date of the death of the survivor of myself and my husband I APPOINT my mother and my brother to be the guardians of that child and I express the wish that should I predecease my husband and he will consult with my mother with regard to the upbringing in education and welfare of our children.

 

This woman has asked that her mother and brother be the guardians of her children (under 18) and that, if she should die before her husband, that her husband consult with her mother with regard to her children’s upbringing.

Will Number 3

After payment of all expenses, taxes and costs incurred in the management of the expenses, taxes and costs incurred in the management of the trust estate, the Trustee is authorizes to accumulate the net income or to pay or apply so much of the net income and such portion of the principal at any time and from time to time to time for health, education, support, comfortable maintenance and welfare of: (1) My daughter, and any other lawful issue I might have, (2) my grandmother, (3) my father, and (4) such other relatives of mine living at the time of my death who in the absolute discretion of my Trustees are in need of emergency assistance for any of the above mentioned purposes and the Trustee is able to make such distribution without affecting the ability of the trust to meet the present needs of the first three numbered categories of beneficiaries herein mentioned or to meet the reasonably expected future needs of the first three classes of beneficiaries herein mentioned.

Any decision of the Trustee as to whether or not distribution, to any of the persons described hereunder shall be final and conclusive and not subject to question by any legatee or beneficiary hereunder.

 (c) Upon the death of my Father, the Trustee is instructed to make no further distributions to the fourth category of beneficiaries and such beneficiaries shall cease to have any interest whatsoever in this trust.

 (d) Upon the death of both my said father and my said grandmother, the Trustee is directed to divide the Residuary Trust into separate and equal trusts, creating one such equal trust for each of my lawful children then surviving and one such equal trust for the living issue collectively, if any, of any deceased child of mine.

 

This man has asked for, a) his daughter, b) his father, c) his grandmother and, d) his other relatives to be looked after, however, once his father has died that those under section ‘d’ be no longer cared for…

Will Number 4

My possessions, in so far as they are worth anything, belong to the Party, or if this no longer exists, to the State. If the State, too, is destroyed, there is no need for any further instructions on my part.

The paintings in the collections bought by me during the course of the years were never assembled for private purposes, but solely for the establishment of a picture gallery in my home town of Linz on the Danube.

It is my most heartfelt wish that this Will should be duly executed.

As Executor, I appoint my most faithful party comrade …….. He is given full legal authority to make all decisions. He is permitted to hand over to my relatives anything which is of value as a personal memento, or is necessary for maintaining a petit bourgeois standard of living especially to my wife’s mother and my faithful fellow workers of both sexes who are well known to him.

This man gives his possessions to the Party, or if this is no longer, to the State.  However, if the State has been destroyed, he believes no more should be said.  He asks for his Party comrade to be executor and that the executor should give mementos to his family or help them attain a lower middle-class standard of living.  He especially asks for this to be so for his mother-in-law.

Will Number 5

And lastly, as I have now set down the form of words which my legal advisers assure me are necessary to the plain objects of this my Will, I solemnly enjoin my dear children always to remember how much they owe to the said ……., and never to be wanting in a grateful and affectionate attachment to her, for they know well that she has been, through all the stages of their growth and progress, their ever useful self-denying and devoted friend. And I desire here simply to record the fact that my wife, since our separation by consent, has been in the receipt from me of an annual income of £600, while all the great charges of a numerous and expensive family have devolved wholly upon myself. I emphatically direct that I be buried in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner; that no public announcement be made of the time or place of my burial; that at the utmost not more than three plain mourning coaches be employed; and that those who attend my funeral wear no scarf, cloak, black bow, long hat-band, or other such revolting absurdity. I direct that my name be inscribed in plain English letters on my tomb, without the addition of ‘Mr.’ or ‘Esquire.’ I conjure my friends on no account to make me the subject of any monument, memorial, or testimonial whatever.

 

This man has asked that his funeral be plain and inexpensive.

The Answers

Well, actually, before the answers are told, perhaps a look at some of the underlying feelings in these Wills.

In Will Number 1, it seems that the Testator (the person writing their Will) did love and admire his wife.

In Will Number 2, it seems the mother was very clear about what should happen to her children should she die.

In Will Number 3, it seems the Testator cared for his family, however, was only wishing to look after his extended family whilst his father was still alive.

In Will Number 4, the Testator seemed to care more about the Party and the State, although, he has asked for his relatives (including his ‘mother-in-law’) to be looked after.

In Will Number 5, it is clear that the Testator has not a good feeling towards his estranged wife, however, asked his children to remain affectionate to someone who had cared for them.

These sentiments and feelings are found across all people; no matter who they are, no matter what other emotions, intrigues, ills or talents were reflected in their lives.  This is why writing a Will is so important.  Even if a person’s life be littered with troubles or filled with happiness, the last moments apply to us all.  A will is the testament to the fact that we are all human.

So, the answers:

Will Number 1, is the Will of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester who was rumoured to be the lover of Queen Elizabeth I.

Will Number 2, is the Will of Princess Diana.

Will Number 3, is the Will of Elvis Presley

Will Number 4, is the Will of Adolf Hitler

Will Number 5, is the Will of Charles Dickens

 

Did You Get It Right?

So, how well did you do? How many of the Testators did you accurately identify?

Even if you didn’t do as well as you thought, you can still get things right by making your own Will.  Drafting your Will allows your loved ones to understand your feelings and wishes and ensure that they are carried out.

If you require any help with writing your Will, please do contact us on: 0208 920 3360 or email us at wills@twb.org.uk.

Alternatively, why not visit our website: http://www.twb.org.uk

In the meantime, leave us a comment and tell us how well you did on guessing who wrote our collection of Wills.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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