Join Date: May 2006
I gave my Javanese son-in-law a keris when he married, but I do not have enough daughters to get rid of everything, so when this question about a succession plan comes up I invariably think of a life-long friend of mine who was also Australia's doyen of Eastern Edged weapon collectors.
For many years he would always say that he was going to take his collection with him, but when he finally experienced a medical event that put him into God's Waiting Room, he bequeathed his entire collection with the exception of one piece to his step-daughter, along with his records which included date of purchase and price paid. He also made recommendations for disposal which came down to public auction through the most experienced Australian auctioneer of antique edged weapons. His idea being that he wanted his collection to pass to other collectors.
I mentioned that he bequeathed everything to his step-daughter except for a single piece. He identified a single item as a gift to a friend. He did this before he died and entrusted his step-daughter to comply with his request. Regrettably he was unable to include his request in his will.
After his death the step-daughter and her husband refused to comply with the request of the departed gentleman, claiming that they had no knowledge of his request. This was an untruth, as they had mentioned the request to the person who was supposed to receive this gift prior to the death of my friend.
I think that this little tale drives home two very important things.
Firstly, whatever one might decide to do with any asset in his possession at time of death must be clearly stated in a properly constructed and enforceable will. Trust in a friend or relative can be badly placed where money or things of value are concerned.
Secondly, the thieving step-daughter and her husband will undoubtedly burn in Hell for Eternity, which is not a nice thing to remember about anybody, no matter how evil and twisted they might be.