Contesting a Will of Talent, Skills and Blessings


When one prepares for death, they usually prepare a will. A summary of the distribution of their worldly assets. Some have large wills, some moderate, some leave behind a trail of debt and loss.

For some families, it’s a time of great unease and awkwardness, especially if the will gets contested. Lawyers can be called in, claims and counter-claims made, settlements made or judgements issued. All for a fistful of worldly possessions.

As you know, my Grandmother recently passed away. I’ve been thinking of the ‘intangible’ things in life that you can’t bequeath when you leave this earth – you can’t bestow a quarter of your kindness upon four siblings. You can’t bequeath a third of your love to a charity, another third to a church and the final third to your cat. You can’t distribute your faith equally amongst your offspring.

What I want to know, what I’m musing about is, if you could bequeath your intangible assets, how would you do it? I know this is a dangerous question! Would you give your husband or wife some of your patience (ok, that was cheeky!). Would you give your children an ounce of your faith or your allocate your church a portion of your caring spirit? Would you give your neighbour your love for nature or your children your passion for sports?

More interestingly, what would you do if you were bequeathed something intangible that you didn’t want? It would be easy to disregard a bequest of grandpa’s bitterness, or your Aunty’s unusual love for cats. But would you accept talents, skills or blessings that would challenge you? Your brother’s passion for feeding the poor? Your mother’s love for the orphan? Your sibling’s strong faith?

Would you contest a will if a family member got more of the deceased’s kindness? Would you fight for just a bit more of their talent for music or art? Would you call in the lawyers to gain a greater share of someones business acumen or ability to make money?

I’m interested. What intangible talents, skills or blessings would you bequeath? What would you want to receive? What would you fight for, for just some more?

This picture was sourced from @kirpernicus on Instagram



  1. Mark Myers

    Very thought-provoking. The only way to bequeath the intangibles is to live and model them for your family. Of course, they get the anger along with the patience. But if you model a charity to the less fortunate consistently over a period of years, you are “giving” that to them. Thanks for the early morning thought.

  2. paulfg

    What a fabulous post! Never ever thought about a “will” in this way. I have no insights to add. No wisdom to contribute. Simply blown away and mulling over an entirely new way of looking at the estate left behind. What a gem Vidins! Thank you.

  3. Lobomonster

    My own grandmother recently left us to dance upstairs too, and left what looks like a messy will that seems to be offending each of her ten children. We, her grandchildren, have had champagne, toasted her astute mind which would slice you dead even at the age of 96, discussed how she wore pearls and red lipstick every day despite being housebound, and asked the universe to ensure that some of her amazingness rubs off on us.

  4. madblog

    “But would you accept talents, skills or blessings that would challenge you? Your brother’s passion for feeding the poor? Your mother’s love for the orphan? Your sibling’s strong faith?” Wow–I’m going to be turning this insightful thought over in my mind today. Thanks!

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