A BIT OF GOOD ADVICE TO START WITH
Die poor and your relations will never bother their heads about you, but leave a bit of property, no matter if it is only a thousand or two dollars, and no will, claimants who never heard of you when you were fighting your way through life will spring up from every quarter and rush to the law courts for a share. Now this does not apply to the direct descendants such as wife, and children, to father and mother, brothers and sisters, for the law takes care of them unless the head of the family should take it into his head to make a will and cut his wife and children out of all he can under the law, and in a malevolent spirit, leave them penniless. This has been done more than once in this blessed city, and is likely to occur again. Men with good-looking wives and no children have been known to make a will and leave their wives, who have helped to create the wealth, with barely what the law recognizes as her her share, and divide it among even distant relatives who probably never gave them a crust of bread during their lifetime. A lawyer was once called in this city to make the will of a dying man, who had saved a handsome fortune, as riches were counted in his day. He worked long hours everyday at his business, never spent a cent willingly for benevolent purposes, and his wife was a frugal woman who might spent more in home comforts if she only had it. When his sands of life were running out, his wealth became a burden to him. He could not take it with him, as shrouds have no pockets, and he worried till almost the last moment before he could decide to whom it should go. One thing certain, the good wife who had made his home life as happy as it was possible for him to enjoy, and who had helped by her economy in creating the wealth, was not going to get her hands on any more of it than he could help, for she might marry again and some other fellow would have the spending of it. At the last moment he called for his lawyer and spent the last afternoon of his life in dividing the estate among relatives whom he had not seen since his younger days when he left his fatherland to come to Hamilton. He was careful to keep within the law as to the portion to be allotted to his wife. When the will was ready for the signature of the dying man, he was too weak to held the pen with which to sign his name, and on the advice of his lawyer deferred this important part till the next morning. The undertaker, however, was at the house before the lawyer the next morning, and the will was never signed. The lawyer, in telling the story afterward, said he was never so happy as when he saw the undertaker’s emblem of mourning on that door, and he returned to his office, without entering the home of death, rejoicing that there was victory in the grave. The wife got half of the estate, which left her substantially wealthy during her lifetime, and she had no desire to enter again the matrimonial market. That she loved her husband goes without saying, for her married life was devoted to his comfort and happiness.