Will writing is one of the most important documents you will be author to in your entire life. It is the last possible thing you can say to your loved ones, or others, before you are shuffled off this mortal coil.
And many take advantage of this. Some take their demise dead seriously and use it as a time to declare their undying love to their families, leaving them in agonising emotional turmoil but in no uncertainty about how you felt about them.
Some use will writing as the opportunity to have the last laugh on people they thing took advantage of them in life. Wealthy people often feel that their so-called friends are their friends because of their money and this is often the case. They get the last laugh by leaving all their worldly goods to their pets or the local dogs home or some other insignificant weird benefactor.
After kicking the bucket in 1991, a famous German Countess left 139 million German marks to her pet dog who then went on to live in the lap of luxury with a personal maid, chauffeur and custom built swimming pool.
A Danish woman no doubt took great delight at leaving all she had to a troupe of monkeys in the local zoo. Maybe she knew that in keeping with the law, the will would have to be read out to the benefactors which is exactly what the law abiding lawyer did.
Leo Tolstoy was a well known author but when it came to will writing he chose to demonstrate his mis-trust of people by bequeathing all his worldly goods to a tree stump in his garden. I wonder if the will was read out to this stump?
According to the history books, one Frenchman left all he had to the first person that could prove they had made contact with beings from another world. As expected, it has still been unclaimed. Unlike the affects of the Finnish will writing author who left all his worldly chattels to the devil. The government took it. Quite fitting really!
Of course, it's not just money and possessions that can be left in a will. You can also leave requests for action , just like the man that left an order to surgeons to be paid to operate on him six days after death ensuring that his necrosis was complete and not some medical blunder.
Many wills are written by people that are simply eccentric and they turn up in the oddest places. The back of a wrist watch, the back of a postage stamp and even chalked on the back of a door. This whole door ended up having to be removed and taken to court as evidence.
Of course, one of the biggest problems solicitors face when dealing with wills is the possibility of forgeries. If a will is written on such items that have been documented, such as the rung of a stepladder, a matchbox or a petticoat then this doesn't necessarily constitute ill will. However, it pays to look at the deceased usual behaviour. If they were of sound mind and body and not normally prone to eccentric behaviour, then the possibility of this type of will being taken as a fake should definitely be looked into.
Legal expert Catherine Harvey looks at how will writing can be quite diverse.