Wills: The Very First One!
As I start to put together a Course about Estate Planning, I wondered when the very first Will was executed. So, with a little research I found that the very first Will (that we know of) was prepared by a gentleman known as Sekhenren in 2548 BC leaving his estate to his wife Teta. That Will was prepared in Kahun, Egypt, a distance of about 60 miles south of Cairo.
It is also interesting that this provides evidence the first known rights of women to inherit and own real estate. That is certainly advanced thinking for a time, 4,500 years ago.
It is rather remarkable that this document contained the following:
- A trust because Teta was not allowed to tear down the house
- Teta was permitted to transfer the properties to the children
- An appointment of a legal Guardian for the infant children
Two witnesses, both of whom attested to the proper execution of the Will
Until this particular Will was found, it was commonly thought that the earliest testamentary dispositions were from ancient Rome, and they were verbal as in “dying declarations”.
The issues, the law, the planning and everything that goes into estate and succession planning have a 4,500 year old history, at least.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker