Leave a note for your next of kin

This is a line from the musical "Hamilton" in the song "Ten Duel Commandments".  The song states, in ten stages, a description of what should happen in a proper duel.  The line continues to say "tell 'em where you been, pray that hell or heaven lets ya in."  It doesn't go into details, but it says in few words that you should leave a letter for your family if you think you are going to die. 

The musical, in Act 2, shows Hamilton writing a letter "to his next of kin" for the very reasons that he was entering into a duel with Aaron Burr.  The song "Best of Wives and Best of Women" describes him writing a letter before he leaves for the duel; his wife Eliza having no idea he was about to stare down the barrel of a gun at dawn.

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After a quick internet search for the letter, I also found the text of Alexander Hamilton's Last Will and Testament.  It was written two days before he died.  He knew he was entering into a duel that could end his life.  

In the 1800s people communicated in written letters.  Today, a last will and testament is one of the few documents that has to be on paper and physically signed.  An original will with an ink signature is what the court will accept as a valid will.  It is one of the few physical products I produce in my practice.  

There are times when a person gets a will done because they are starting cancer treatment or recently survived a heart attack at a young age.  At this stage, the person wants to have his or her affairs in order so the survivors know where things are and what to do.  

Your family wants to know your desires.  If they know what you want, the only way to make it happen is through the writings of a will.  When you leave a note for your next of kin, it helps them fulfill your legacy.  A legacy cannot survive family members fighting over the property of a loved one. There, what is remembered is the fighting; the legacy is the fighting.  A last will and testament will give peace to those who carry on after you're gone.  They will remember the happy times and important memories, your true legacy.  

Hope Wood