Please Share Your Opinion on this Touchy Subject

When making a will, should the “estate” be shared equally despite the differing levels of economic status? Some say divide equally, don’t play God. People make their own choices and lifestyles and it’s not up to a parent to attempt to rectify a lack of education, circumstances,  etc.  If I love them all equally, why not “share the wealth” equally? I use quote marks above because my “estate” is miniscule, but I’m really in a quandary. I suggested to my wealthiest child that  I should not share equally and got a highly negative response from this child and the spouse.  I want justice but not for any child to feel slighted.

OPINIONS RECEIVED:  This is a biggie. My mother considered the same thing. I told her I would be terribly hurt if she did so. It is hard to explain why I felt so strongly that somehow it would mean she loved me less, though intellectually I could tell myself it wasn’t true. Equal inheritance will spare your children these doubts. It is a much secondary consideration, but those who have less need will probably look out more carefully for the others and will be more inclined to leave what they accumulate to their nieces and nephews.  (cousin)

Robert Avant Since I have virtually nothing, the issue of my will is not compelling. What little I have will go to the local Episcopal church, which was good to Mother when she was in the nursing home. But I do sometimes look around my house and marvel at how items priceless to me will go unappreciated. One place where I drew the line was my personally-autographed copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which locals would stick in a book sale for a quarter. I gave it to a young but already distinguished attorney in Birmingham, who was delighted. I have letters from opera singer Beverly Sills, “Ozzie and Harriet’s” Harriet Hilliard Nelson (mother of Ricky Nelson), former NY Times Editor Howell Raines, Louise Stickney Tanner (whose husband Edward Everett Tanner — under the name Patrick Dennis — wrote “Auntie Mame”), and Jessica Mitford. My God what a family those Mitfords were. Her sister Unity Valkerie was a favorite of Hitler, who dubbed her the ideal of the Aryan female. She shot herself when she realized what he really was. One sister became the Duchess of Devonshire, chateleine of Chatsworth. Another sister married Oswald Mosley, a British fascist. They were imprisoned for the duration of WWII. Okay, Bobby — enough!  (cousin)

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
This entry was posted in Family relationships, Favoritism vs justice, Making a will and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Please Share Your Opinion on this Touchy Subject

  1. Very difficult question you’re asking!. But here goes: knowing you have a daughter with Downs, who hardly made her own life choices, I would imagine she would need to be made provision for in a special way? In other words, more than the others who may be able to look out for themselves?

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  2. Sautee Barb says:

    This is a biggie. My mother considered the same thing. I told her I would be terribly hurt if she did so. It is hard to explain why I felt so strongly that somehow it would mean she loved me less, though intellectually I could tell myself it wasn’t true. Equal inheritance will spare your children these doubts. It is a much secondary consideration, but those who have less need will probably look out more carefully for the others and will be more inclined to leave what they accumulate to their nieces and nephews.

    Like

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