Chapter XXV - Worth Knowing
- 1. How title is acquired.
- 2. Over-generosity.
- 3. Care of wills.
- 4. Care of all papers.
- 5. Checks and stubs.
- 6. Sending away money.
- 7. Lost in mails.
- 8. More about notes.
If things are said in this chapter that seem like a repetition of things already told, it is that their importance warrants a repetition in another form.
"There are no pockets in a shroud," it is said. True it is that we cannot take material things with us to the other side of the grave, and so before the end comes it is well to make preparations for their disposition.
There are three ways of getting possession of property:
1. To have it given. 2. To earn it. 3. To steal it.
We shall not consider the last method; that is the business of the law, but let us look at the first.
Property is given in two ways:
1. By direct gift from one to another. 2. By will, when the amount is payable on the death of the donor.
Of course, the widow and children, if there be any, are first to be considered in either of the cases named.
Many people, when the end is nearing, think that it is better to make sure that their wealth will reach the right hands by giving it direct and at once.
Now, no matter the nobility of the motive that prompts such an act, it is one which, on the whole, cannot be commended.
It is all very well to spend available means in order to set a son or daughter up in business, but such sums, if there are other heirs, should be charged against the share of the probable donee, with interest, and a record made of the same.
Under no circumstances should old people, who, after raising a family and living honorable lives, have saved enough to own their home and secure an income for their declining years, deed or give this property to their children, or to any one else, in consideration of their having all their subsequent wants met.
The better way for the farmer, the merchant, or the manufacturer, when he feels the years pressing heavily and that he can no longer attend properly to the old demands on him, is to shift by a properly drawn contract the business management of the enterprise to his children, or to those whom he wishes to place in charge.
In this way the ownership is not changed, and if the new management should prove to be inefficient, it can be placed in more efficient hands.
CARE OF WILLS
As has been said, every person having property of any kind to dispose of should make a will.
Already ways have been given as to how wills should be made and estates administered, but to these it may be well to add another point.
Do not imagine that the making of a will shortens life.
Too often, after the demise of a testator who it is known has made a will, the heirs cannot find the document, and the lawyer who drew it knows nothing more about it.
Many men leave their wills with their lawyers. If this should not be done, then it would be well to keep it in the safe of the bank in which the testator has his account.
But whether in these places or another, there should be no doubt as to the existence of a will, or the place in which it may be found.
Only the last will should be kept; all preceding wills should be destroyed.