Memento Mori: Death and Wills

42 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2014

Date Written: April 9, 2014


Death. The mere mention of the word sends shivers down the spine or provokes a nervous giggle. Modern reactions to death range from avoidance, as shown by the abundance of death euphemisms, to fascination, as shown by the number of movies and television shows centered on death, including Twilight's vampires and The Walking Dead's zombies. Estate planning is the legal environment in which a person confronts his or her mortality and participates in the formulation of his or her legacy. Contextualizing the experience as a memento mori experience promotes the function of the estate planning process, specifically the drafting of the Will. The Will is the document that nominates the representative of the testator and the guardians of the testator's minor children. The Will gives cherished mementos of a life lived. "Remember you must die" prompts reflection and contemplation.

Keywords: Estate Planning, Wills

Suggested Citation

Sneddon, Karen J., Memento Mori: Death and Wills (April 9, 2014). Wyoming Law Review, Vol. 14, p. 211, 2014, Available at SSRN:

Karen J. Sneddon (Contact Author)

Mercer Law School ( email )

1021 Georgia Ave
Macon, GA 31207-0001
United States

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