Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
Article ID: 15900
Age Group: Adult
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Author: HPS Moonwater Ashwood
Posted: August 12th. 2016
Times Viewed: 3,888
“It’s too morbid.” “It’s not necessary.” “I don’t have to worry about that right now.” We all have reasons why we don’t write out a will. The fact of the matter is this: life is unpredictable, far too short, and without a written will you have no guarantee over what will happen after you die.
Now the writing of a will can be a very daunting and overwhelming process, full of legal loopholes. The laws and regulations regarding their creation and the language used within them changes from state to state, province to province, country to country. Most regions now offer simple templates for designing your will, and some even offer free legal will kits. I strongly recommend that you research your options carefully; hiring a lawyer may not be necessary.
These things are true for everyone. As pagans in the modern world, however, there are a number of things that you should consider adding to your will in order to cover both mundane and magickal items and issues.
The following is a list of appendices that should be carefully considered when writing these legally binding documents.
1.Contact Information for all Coveners (if you are a member of an online or face-to-face coven) .
In the event of your death, or possible even in the case of other emergencies as well, your coveners should be contacted and told all relevant details by someone that you deeply trust. Preferably, this will be someone known to and trusted by your coveners too. Be sure to share this form with your coveners so that they may do the same thing with their loved ones. You may wish to leave some simple instructions with the filled out form, such as who to contact first, whether to address coveners by their legal or their magickal name, how to pass on information (ie. In person, on the phone, or in writing) , etc. If there is any information you wish to add to this form, please feel free to do so.
Name In Coven
2.Digital Footprint Information
It’s very important in today’s society to make your wishes clear regarding your digital footprint (or online presence) just as much as it is to deal with your physical estate. The internet has allowed us all to contact people around the globe on a daily basis without a second thought. For some of us, our friendships online are just as special to us as those we physically see on a regular, perhaps even more so in some cases. Please take a few moments to think about how you touch the lives of others and fill in the appropriate information.
a. Email Accounts
-web address where email is routed (if appropriate)
f. Dating Sites
-site web address
g. Blog (s)
h. Website (s)
i. Online Directories or Forums
j. Other Instructions
***For each of the above, please indicate what you wish done to each account: delete account, ignore account, post obituary/funeral details, reroute to another person.
3.Bequests for Physical Items
As with any will, arrangements should be made for the inheritance of all magickal tools, items, books, clothing, etc. If you are “out of the broom closet”, you may include this information in the list of bequests within your instructions to your Executor in your traditional will. If you are not completely public about your beliefs, you should write down these wishes and make them known to a loved one and/or covener, who you may name as your Pagan/Spiritual Executor.
For example, “My Book of Shadows, which can be found wrapped in green cloth beside my main altar, shall be given to _______________, to be treasured and expanded upon.”
All magickal tools, etc should be:
a. passed onto a loved one or covener
b. buried with the deceased
c. burned and the ashes buried, or
d. returned to the original owner, if it was received as a gift.
If you decide to allow such items to be sold, please leave instructions with your Executor on how to smudge or otherwise cleanse each item prior to sale.
4. Naming a Pagan/Spiritual Executor
As with naming a regular, or “mundane”, Excutor for your will, this can be a difficult decision to make as there are a lot of factors to take into account. In either case, your Executor should be:
a. someone of legal age for your area
b. someone you know and trust
c. someone who can handle stress well
d. someone who deals well with responsibility
e. preferably, someone local, although this is not a necessity
f. preferably, someone that would not usually travel with you, in case of accidental death, and
g. someone who will interpret and follow your instructions properly.
I also strongly recommend naming an Alternate Executor (or even two) , just in case your first choice is not able to perform this duty for you, for whatever reason or circumstance.
5. Funerary Wishes
It is always difficult to think of the end of your life and how you want your belongings and property taken care of; even more difficult, however, are your wishes for your bodily remains. Most people have a preference for burial or cremation, but have you thought of your other options? Donating your body to science? Organ donations? Natural burial (i.e. Leaving your remains to be disposed of by the elements and animals) ? Water burial? Please note: not all of these options are legal in all areas; please check with your local laws and by-laws when making these decisions.
I strongly recommend pre-planning your funeral or memorial service so that your wishes are known and honoured. Make sure to leave a copy of these plans with your will, and make your plans known to loved ones. You may also want to pre-pay for your funeral, if possible.
Some other things to consider for these arrangement are:
a. Church or secular service?
b. Mixed faith service?
c. Separate pagan service?
f. Whether there is a charity you would like donations sent to in your memory?
g. Grave marker type? (headstone, slab marker, no markers, memorial bench, tree/shrub/rose bush/etc
6. In General:
All countries, states, provinces, and territories have their own specified language for a legal will. Please feel free to check out the free templates for your area at www.legaldocuments.com.
Some countries have free legal will kits available; you should be able to find one for your area if it exists through a Google search for “free legal will kit” and the name of your area.
The preceding appendices should be attached to your will, or the information put within the body of the will itself, to make all of your wishes known to those left behind.
To be certain that any will is legally binding, please consult with an attorney.
Copyright: HPS Moonwater Chalcedony Ashwood, BA, RM, August 14 2015
HPS Moonwater Ashwood
Location: Gravenhurst, Ontario
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