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After a Near-Death Experience, being reminded of their advancing age, or having to deal with another person's death, a character decides that it's time to get their affairs in order.

However, they don't do this by going to see a lawyer and writing up a Will - instead, they either write the name of the intended recipient on the item, or ask their friends and family to label their possessions if they would like to inherit them.

This trope can come in two flavors:

  • No reference to a legal Last Will and Testament is made - it's all down to the sticky notes.
  • It may be justified as the precursor to a legal will in the process of being written, rather than being intended to stand as is.

See also If You Die, I Call Your Stuff. Contrast Personal Effects Reveal.

Examples of Type 1:

  • In The Baby Sitters Club series of books, in the weeks approaching her death, Claudia's grandmother Mimi labels many of her possessions with the names of the people she would like to have them when she passes on.
  • After Bilbo vanishes in The Fellowship of the Ring, he leaves labelled items as gifts for people. One of his enemies relatives enemies does demand to see a will, but as it turns out, it's all in order.
    • It's implied to be the normal way of doing things amongst Hobbits. Chaos arises because everyone in the shire believes Bilbo's home hides riches from his adventure in The Hobbit. It doesn't as Bilbo spent it all to organize his birthday party so everyone in the shire would get a marvelous, personalized gift when they came. But that doesn't stop people from rummaging around Bag End and trying to get more than their share.
  • In one episode of Ghost Whisperer, the Victim of the Week had his belongings labeled like this.
  • When Tom has surgery in an episode of Waiting for God, his greedy daughter-in-law insists that everything in his and Diana's apartment be labeled so Diana can't claim anything of his.
Examples of Type 2:

  • After one of Niles' co-workers passes away in an episode of Frasier, Frasier gives stickers to Niles and Martin and tells them to label any possessions of his they would like to inherit. Later in the episode, Frasier finds a sticky note on his expensive bathrobe labeled "Niles", and mutters, "The vultures are circling."
  • Lorelei's parents on Gilmore Girls ask Lorelei and Rory to label any items they would like to inherit with Post-It notes. They find this amusingly awkward.
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