Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Where there's a will...

Well, my friends, it's certainly been a while since I posted anything on The Universe According to Andy.
Well, a combination of things really - too much work, a sudden surge in my hillclimbing activities, absence of any writing activity...and, oh, did I mention I had too much work?

Anyway, I've found time and motivation to put fingers to keyboard once again and share with you fabulous people an opinion or two...and, by Jove, there's no shortage of things to have an opinion on, is there.
There's the unbelievable Lord Sewel and his cocaine-snorting-off-a-prostitute's-breasts escapades; then there's Walter Palmer who, for reasons which are utterly unfathomable, thought it would be a good idea to pay $50,000 dollars to go to Zimbabwe so he could shoot a local celebrity lion with a bow-and-arrow; and not forgetting the zillions of migrants trying to make their way into the UK through the Channel Tunnel - clearly, they haven't heard about the current round of austerity cuts introduced by Mr Osbourne.

But I'm going to ignore all that and concentrate instead on this:

Now I don't know about you people out there in the big, bad world, but I think this sets an immensely worrying precedent. I'll be honest - I don't know the exact details of the relationship between Mrs Ilott and her mother, Mrs Jackson, but at the end of the day, the £486,000 estate of Mrs Jackson was hers and hers alone and she should be able to do with it as she damn well pleases.
The question is where will this end.
Is each individual, when deciding upon what they are going to do with their assets once they've pop their clogs, going to have to prepare in advance of their death a detailed dossier, complete with diary, photographs, e-mails and post-it notes, explaining the reasons behind each decision regarding the disposition of their assets? And even when there's a very detailed justification about why Child A got x% and Child B got y%, will Child B still be able to challenge that justification in court, putting forward alternative evidence to justify their claim on a larger proportion of the deceased's estate?
It's a very slippery slope indeed and one which this ruling certainly makes more likely.
As far as I'm concerned, a person's will is exactly that - their will, and however unpalatable an individual's decisions may be about what they want to do with their assets once they die, they should...nay, the MUST be sacrosanct and not subject to the decision of a judge who, however, well intentioned, cannot truly understand the dead individual's motivations.