After the funeral people come to see me about probating the Last Will and Testament the family member left behind. The interview sometimes begins like this:
“Dad wanted me to have the farm. He told me so on his death-bed. He said, ‘I want you to have the farm’.”
I ask for the will and can find no reference to this bequest. Instead the client and all her siblings are listed share and share alike which means they all get an equal portion ownership.
“I am afraid you have a hearsay problem”, I tell the shocked client.
There is some room for dying declarations to be admitted in court.
First, the person has to understand they are about to die when the statement is made.
Second, it is only admissible to prove the client is guilty of murder of the decedent.
Fourth, I refer this person out to a firm that handles criminal law.
Faced with this and other evidence, Chapman plead guilty to 2nd Degree Murder and is still in prison.
So friends and neighbors let’s go with what is on paper and not a dying declaration. If admitted at all, it might mean you are going to jail.