Wills and Inheritances

by Bruce
(Canada)

How a person Will's their estate on passing is a very personal matter.

Do you divide everything equally among all living children to lessen the chance of hurt feelings?

Should consideration be given to the current financial situation of each child?

What if one child is kind, considerate and helpful and the other one is selfish, uncaring and never has time for you; and squanders their money?

RESPONSES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Barbara
I'd just like to ad that some good planning on who to leave what is a good idea besides just trusting our Lord. You might want to look into a 'ladybird deed' so your loved ones won't have to go through probate.

Bruce
I think the simple answer is yes; spoil yourself, and if able, those who are close to you. The two most important things for seniors to remember is: You can't take it with you, and everyone dies. I understand your fear of running out of money in your old age. Quality assisted living facilities are very expensive. You worked hard and long to get to where you are today and deserve a few reasonable extravagance. A trip to Las Vegas or perhaps a new car that perhaps you don't really need. I have been a saver all of my life and doing things contrary to my life style is difficult. A good example is: most years we take two cruises and have always taken an inside cabin arguing, the amenities on the ship are available to all. The last few years we have been taking a cabin with a private balcony. Why not, the step kids and granddaughter lead the "good" life, why not us.

Bruce
Thank you for you views, I agree completely. Show your appreciation to people that have been kind and thoughtful towards you. An inheritance is a gift not an entitlement.

Jane
I think the hardest thing to do in life is to get even with people who have help you. I do not have a single living relative I would call kind or helped me in any way. However, I have neighbors who have come to my aid continually. They owe me no allegiance.

There are a few other people who showed exceptional kindness to me during my life. These are the ones who will inherit anything I have left. It is my way of showing gratitude which is the only way to ever get even with anyone.

Barbara
If you are a believer in God.. Tithe your 10%, live a Godly life. (He wants us to have fun and enjoy life and be prosperous, just put him first.) All else will come to you. God provides! Be sensible and go with your heart.

Wendy
WOW.. fabulous question.

Here is my dilemma...

Do I finally allow myself to spend my hard-earned savings? I'm a saver, not a spender... so what happens if I do allow myself to have more fun and stuff, then I need it later and its gone? My mother is fine and well at 89, so if, God Willing, I live a long life like her, I will have a 30 year retirement!

Do I continue to save in case I need help in the future? Then I die... and my sister's three kids get my life savings. I love them, they are like my own kids, but they are the new generation who spends-spends-spends, totally unlike me.

Rhenania
My father left everything to my mother (in 1970). By law, my sister and I were entitled to 25% each. But my parents had set up a legal will that said, if the children insisted on their share, then they would get nothing after the death of the remaining parent. It was o.k. for us.

When my mother died (in 1990) all was divided 50:50 among my sister and me - in priciple. My sister grabbed all the jewelry and the valuable things like brand new washing machine and dryer etc. I don't know how to say it correctly in English: She created facts!

After my death - hopefully not before 2050!!! - everything will go to my son or should something "happen" to him before , then to my only grandchild. Easy. I have a written will and some lists "How to.." to make it easier for him because he lives in another part of the country and doesn't know his way around here.

Ron
It saddens me to see when people choose to not have relationships with their family members.... Money is the root of all evil. I have seen so many families broken up because of how a will was written. I have chosen to divide anything I have left evenly between my children regardless of their current financial situation. I don't know what will happen in their lives after I am gone. A tragedy of some sort could ruin their current financial situation and they may need what little I have to give more than another child. It won't be much but I am sure they will appreciate it.

Rose
Since i don't have a great deal anyway not something to major. But I had 4 son's 3 of which have not given one thought to me or had any relationship with me for over 35 years so I have drawn my will up and disinherited all of those three, leaving everything to my youngest and last son and his daughter. Not just because they walked out of my life but more importantly how they have done it. So I feel if you didn't want to share life with me then you have no need to share in anything I have after I am gone.

Barbara
Bruce, Do whatever you think is best. I will leave whatever I have to charity...if there is anything left.

Elaine
who you decide to leave anything to is a very personal matter. Everyone has different circumstances. I agree whole heartedly with Paula and Lillian, anything anyone leaves to a person is a gift. Not something that should be expected. I do think that in a case like Carol mentioned where one child got a loan and never paid it back I do think that child should be told up front that the loan will be considered when things are divided up. People get crazy when they think they should be getting something left to them. And it doesn't have to involve a lot of value either. Many families have been torn apart by this stuff. I guess it all boils down to greed

Lillian
Hi Bruce! It rankles me when people who don't deserve it get inheritances. I know someone who was sitting and waiting for his aunt to pass, while never having lifted a finger to help the poor woman .. he is now traveling all over the world on her money. I'm with Paula, an inheritance is a gift-not a right.

Paula
It's your money you should be able to divide it up however you choose without guilt. I only have one child so everything I have left will go to her. Of course you could spend all your money on yourself! An inheritance is a gift not a right.

Carol
That's a good question, Bruce. My sister has three adult children and she has already told them how she is dividing things. One child is in much more need than the other two, so she will get more. Another one she lent a considerable amount of money to, that she never got back, so that is going to be considered also. Sometimes, people will leave more money to a devoted friend or caretaker, and that's as it should be.

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