This is sort of another side of Schiavo, ain’t it?
Many argued that Schiavo’s wishes should have been ignored, or at least very strong proof of them required. Here people are suggesting that a will provision should be followed irrespective of its consequences.
What are the limits to the principle that last wishes should be respected?
Let’s look at some easy cases of bequests:
Bequest #1: Give five bucks to my old buddy GW Bush. That’s an easy one, right? Well it is as long as the Pontiff’s estate has five bucks in it. If it does, GW gets the cash. If he doesn’t, the bequest
**Bequest #2: Shoot GW Bush in the face when he comes to my funeral. **Ok. Nobody really has a problem with this one not being enforced, right? Do I need to explain why?
**Bequest #3: Destroy all of the writings of Pope Urban I. **The Pope does not own the writings (he doesn’t, right?), and therefore cannot give them away.
**Bequest #4: Give my writings to Hillary Clinton, but only if she divorces her cheating husband. **. Most US courts would not enforce this provision because it encourages divorce. I’m betting the relevant law here is similar.
Bequest #5: Use my entire estate to buy WMD’s for the terrorist group of your choice. Much like #2.
Now for some challenging ones.
**Bequest #6: (written around 1938) Sell my writings at auction and give the money to Adolph Hitler to support his efforts regarding the Jews.
Bequest #7: If I’m ever in a persistent vegetative state, I don’t want feeding tubes.
Bequest #8: $100,000 to my executor, but only if he publishes a totally false biography of me.
Bequest #9: Destroy my entire collection of religious artifacts.**
IAAL, but IANACL (or a Catholic, for that matter). Therefore, I may totally full of shit.