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Law Text Culture
'In the Name of God, Amen' Seeking the Testator's Authentic Voice in Research Using Wills
A Will is a written document which represents a unique form of communication between the dead and the living (Finch et al 1996). This statement hints at the complex nature of the interpretation of wills. Wills are documents which have a unique power. No other document can communicate beyond the grave in the voice of the deceased with that same combination of legal and personal power. In turn the communication from the living back to the deceased takes the form of acceptance of their wishes and the turning of those wishes into concrete form in many cases. It is not a simple transference of will (in the personal sense) from one to the other; rather, the executor must operate on the will by taking it to court or by other transactions and the beneficiary may interact with the will by choosing whether to comply with conditions and by using his or her own desires to deal with the corporeal remainder of the deceased, their estate.
Recommended CitationVines, P., 'In the Name of God, Amen' Seeking the Testator's Authentic Voice in Research Using Wills, Law Text Culture, 6, 2002.