Bear with me on this, k?
I recently found out that one of my cousins is very likely my half-brother (we share a dad). I don’t know if he knows, I don’t know if the man who raised him knows, and I’m not about to go making waves. Unless I am approached by him about it, I’m probably going to just lay low.
He’s met me about twice, barely knows me. This whole side of the family barely knows me.
That said – he’s probably my brother, which, having been an only child my whole life, is a big deal to me.
Now let’s get hypothetical …
Suppose I have a lot of money that’s gotta be divvied up when I die, and I make out my Will and I decide that I want to kick a little cash toward this guy.
In the Will I say something to the effect of “to Panda Cousin, who I have reason to believe is my half brother, I bequeath $50,000.” (I would write this because I’m a genealogist and this is just too important of a detail to leave out IMO – 200 years from now one of my descendants might read my Will and go “oooh so that’s why she left him money” or something.)
So he gets a random phone call that I’ve died and oh, by the way, he’s now 50k richer. This would naturally come as a shock considering he knows me as his cousin and BARELY knows me at that. As welcome as the windfall would be, I’m sure he’d wonder why I left him some cash, considering I’m a virtual stranger and also have tons of other cousins on that side of the family that I barely know.
Would he have the right to read my Will since he’s mentioned in it? Can Wills be kept secret even after they’re executed?
Irrelevant, of course, considering the only cash that’s gonna be shelled out when I die is my life insurance which goes to PandaKid, but I was still curious …