The Issue of how assets are distributed after death is of increasing significance for larger numbers of people. In this original and path-breaking study, the authors examine the principle means through which people plan to dispose of their assets after death: by the use of wills. By offering an empirical study of 800 English wills, the book identifies significant patterns of bequeathing among a cross-section of the population, and not just among those sections of
society who enjoy substantial wealth. This leads us to focus upon what wills tell us about the family and kin relationships, and upon how people transmit their assets across generations: to their families and to institutions and organizations.