2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death – we are celebrating the life of the most famous playwright of all time by having a closer look into his will and uncovering how wills have changed since the Elizabethan era.
Shakespeare had enough of a fortune to be able to own Stratford-upon-Avon’s second largest house. Sadly Shakespeare wasn’t able to make the most of his retirement, and died of an unknown illness on his 52nd birthday in 1616. The question is, when you have amassed a substantial personal fortune and earned a reputation as an accomplished playwright, what do you include in your will? 
Interestingly, Shakespeare signed his will on March 25th 1616,  only a month before his death. Although no one knows what he died of, it seems likely that he was aware of his deteriorating health condition.
Shakespeare’s will  reveals interesting aspects of his character, interests and affections. Information on his attitude towards family members, colleagues, religion and moral beliefs can be interpreted from it.