Will bequests – is your will a Shakespearean comedy or tragedy?

Will bequests - is your will a Shakespearean comedy or tragedy?

Very few of us will ever reach the giddy and ever lasting heights of writing fame as Shakespeare. But many of us will write a piece that has ever lasting impact on our loved ones (or not so loved ones). That is our will.

A will is a powerful document, not simply because it gives away our worldly goods, but because it is our last communique to the world at large. It is an opportunity to mend and offend in equal measure. 

The attached article reports on the strangest things people have said/left in wills.  One of which is a bequests in the will of Will himself. Shakespeare famously gifted his second best bed to his wife. Now many have speculated as to the meaning and message of that gift.

So imagine my excitement to have the opportunity to explore that when I visited England (just before Covid-19 hit) for a much needed holiday. While there I visited Shakespeare’s Home. It was a surreal experience standing in the very building where Shakespeare lived with his wife and children. With its thatched roof, uneven floors and perfunctory furniture, it was an amazing experience to stand and imagine the Bard and his family going about their daily life. And it was a life full of just as many tragedies and comic experience as those depicted in his fictional writings. I learned a great deal on that tour, and of course I was fascinated hear their take on the gift of the second best bed.

It seems that it wasn’t an insult but a loving gesture. It transpires the second best bed referred to the marriage bed. So what will your will say?