03 January 2015

Undead Estate Law

I've spent a bit too much time in estate law, and a concept that's always tickled me is how sentient undead in a culture (beyond "Ahhh, it's a filthy necromancer, kill the blasphemer on sight!") would affect that.

At what point does a decedent's will kick in? When he dies? What if his corpse is walking, talking and plainly competent to make decisions? Does being a controlled thrall under the sway of a more powerful undead factor in, and if so, at what point can the court appoint a receiver or a guardian? (Is being a thrall a legally enforceable contract?) And if you rule that you lose control of your property the moment you die, how does that play in to resurrection/revivication magics or processes? Sorry, our kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a disestablished church, and our probate laws can't take into account your theological differences between raising someone from the dead and raising someone from the dead as a vampire, Your Eminence.

Man, it isn't that the heirs of a dead millionaire would burn his body. It's that they'd burn his body before the flesh was cold, make the ashes into bricks, then blow up the bricks.

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