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Author Topic: The "Reading of the Will"  (Read 13829 times)

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shhh its me

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Re: The "Reading of the Will"
« Reply #60 on: October 28, 2013, 10:59:41 AM »
When my father died, his relatives were asking what they were going to get under his will.  When my mother told them that he had practically no money, and none of them were mentioned in the will, they left town without saying anything, didn't attend his funeral, and have not contacted us again.

We don't miss them.

Why would they think they would get anything with a wife and at least one child still alive?

I don't think its that uncommon  especially in sizable estates to leave something to nieces , nephews or siblings even when there is a surviving spouse and children.  That doesn't excuse the behavior though.

Margo

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Re: The "Reading of the Will"
« Reply #61 on: October 28, 2013, 11:55:54 AM »
I'm in the UK, and reading of a will is very rare here - as PPs have said, I think it stems from the practical issues of being able to let all beneficiaries (and, potentially, disappointed relatives) know the terms, and from being much more efficient than having to copy it by hand (it would also allow anyone who felt the need to check the signature, and satisfy themselves that it had not been altered)

Going back further, it used to be very common for people to make or update wills when they were on their deathbed, and in situations where the testator and the beneficiaries may have been unable to read or write, so it was much more common both to include final messages and to need a mechanism whereby the person who write the will, (and any witnesses) could also be present and answer any queries.

I have worked in law for almost 20 years - I don't, personally, deal with wills but I have colleagues who do. I can think of a few cases where there has been a reading - usually this was a specific request by the testator, in one case it was a situation where there was a large family (I think, from memory, 13 or 14 children of the testator) They specialised in family feuds and the testator used to change his will on a regular basis depending on who he was feuding with at any given time. My colleague arranged a reading and for the witnesses to the the will, the doctor who had met with the testator immediately before he signed, and who had confirmed he had full capacity, and all the children and adult grandchildren to be present, on the basis that it would save an awful lot of time and trouble - and make it much harder for any member of the family to claim they had not been kept informed, or anything else. In that case, the amily was one which we knew very well, and we knew that many of them, particularly the older family members, did not read well, so it also allowed  for everyone to save face by not having to admit they couldn't read the copies sent to them.

But it was very unusual and due to the specifc

magicdomino

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Re: The "Reading of the Will"
« Reply #62 on: October 28, 2013, 01:52:25 PM »
Relative assumed that Mr. N's will would be full of similar language and wanted to "emotionally prepare for the reading" by having an advance copy to look at. Even after I mentioned that I was the sole beneficiary, Relative assumed that Mr. N's will would still contain some sort of final words and sentiment, and wanted to see it in writing.

When I drafted the requirements for my will, there were a few amusing or mildly snarky comments.  I am disappointed that none of them made it into the actual will.  It's all just boring legalese.  The lawyer said that it's harder to argue with legalese if the will is challenged in court.

Tea Drinker

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Re: The "Reading of the Will"
« Reply #63 on: October 28, 2013, 04:52:46 PM »
When my father died, his relatives were asking what they were going to get under his will.  When my mother told them that he had practically no money, and none of them were mentioned in the will, they left town without saying anything, didn't attend his funeral, and have not contacted us again.

We don't miss them.

Why would they think they would get anything with a wife and at least one child still alive?

I don't think its that uncommon  especially in sizable estates to leave something to nieces , nephews or siblings even when there is a surviving spouse and children.  That doesn't excuse the behavior though.

Or even not-so-sizeable ones. My grandmother left her money to be divided evenly between her three daughters. But various bits of jewelry were earmarked for specific people: my cousin got almost all the earrings, because when my grandmother made the list Carole was the only one with pierced ears. Her sister got my grandparents' furniture, because it was a style that they knew she liked and the rest of us didn't especially. (Not disliked, but that cousin actively wanted it.) I can see someone else making a point of leaving a bit of jewelry, or one book each to a bunch of relatives.
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