Odd Will Clauses

A friend just returned from a visit to his family in New England. Deep, backwoods, Steven King New England that is.

So one of his friends inherited a half million from his dad. But the will makes the amount payable when he turns ninety. I suppose this is a safeguard against the son wasting the money on whiskey women and cars.

But in truth, the son told my friend he sort of likes the idea. He is sixty-something and Dad died at 93 (fell out of a tree with a chainsaw). So he figures he just might be there to collect the cash, and even if he doesn’t the fact that it is there is nice. So many people are afraid of outliving their money.

If the son does not make it to ninety, it goes to the first grandkid to reach the big 90. By then interests might have increased the value of the bequest.

A little odd, but I sort of like the idea.

It’s a nice idea, but 90 is way too old. It should have been 75. By 90 it could be too late to make use of it.

Huh? The guy is in very,very real danger of outliving his money.
At,say, age 86, he could easily have medical problems requiring moving to an old-age home with a full-time caregiver,which could cost a quarter-million or half-million dollars.
And I doubt that the management of the nursing home will accept a post-dated check for 4 years later.

The guy who wrote the will should set a more reasonable age limit…say, 75 or 80.

Since this is *a(n) FOAF story, some of the details might have been lost or embellished. These are also the same people who know kids named Lemonjello, Oranjello, and La-a. But not that the story isn’t plausible–there was a news story in the past year or two about someone’s estate that was finally being distributed after almost 100 years because of this sort of clause. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the details.

*Depends on how you read FOAF.

Sounds like a way to try and control people from the grave. You can’t take it with you, but you still get to decide what happens to it for a long time. I’m against it. I’d like to see those things outlawed.

On the other hand, I’ve asked that I be cremated, and have the ashes scattered over an unsuspecting crowd, preferably Yankee fans or the US Congress. Then, even though there’s nothing to bury, I still want a gravestone inscribed with “I told you I was sick”.

snicker at the wording on the gravestone:D

And I agree. I can see entailing a piece of property to keep a lovely piece of land away from developers, or a family heirloom in the family [on loan to a museum is different from an outright donation. I have a couple items that are on loan to a museum, saves me on insurance costs as the museum picks it up on their policy.] but money should be in trust for with the person being able to use the interest, or get an annuity from it but not totally withheld. I could see holding it for the guy until official retirement age, or even retirement age or forced retirement due to disability but not until 90.

I also think that more or less cutting the family off by donating more than a small percentage should be illegal also. Maybe no more than 10 or 25 %. I know the family of a guy I went to school with that the grandfather donated everything to a university and pretty much cut the family off with not much more than a nominal amount of money and the land and household stuff. Oddly enough, the university named a dorm and one other building after the family, and it seems that the school’s lawyer was so very helpful when the guy wanted to make his will a few years before he died:dubious: The family was flabbergasted, as there was no sign of any family dissent that would lead to people being cut out of the will.

You wouldn’t be the first.

As if younger siblings needed more reason to bump off their elders…

Oh, I do know of a somewhat odd clause that happened locally. A man died a few years ago. It went into the details of the suvivors and ‘preceded by’ names: A daughter from a previous marriage, and step-daughter from current marriage were named, but no step-son. Step-son was also not listed as having preceded him in death. I thought that was odd, so I looked up his wife’s obit from a couple of years earlier. Her daughter was mentioned but not the son. Some time later I ran into a family member and asked about it. Turned out there had been some falling out between the woman and the son, and her will stated that her obit was not to list the son as a survivor.

I must say, I find the idea of dying at age ninety-something by falling out of a tree with a chainsaw terribly Down East. (I was told he was trimming the tree when he fell.)

I wouldn’t say odd but out of the ordinary; when my grandfather passed we learned his will said the 4 grandkids got as much as the two adult children. Spouses weren’t included for kids or grandkids. Hence unmarried Aunt, unmarried me and unmarried cousin didn’t have to share our inheritance but my dad, my married bro and married cousin complained it wasn’t fair to their spouses not to be included. (I suspect the unfairness lay w/ having to share their own share.)

My own will decrees that my collection of Russian nesting dolls be divided between my BFF, her sister and their collective daughters.

I do hope your will states they must stand in line, tallest to shortest, and pass them down.

Also - I didn’t think your first example was out of the ordinary. If my SO’s dad were to die tomorrow I would not expect to be included to receive the same share as his daughter (my SIL). I would not find offense at all to find the spouses had been totally left out. In fact, I probably would not expect my SO to do something for the family - it would be more of a “he was your dad, you do something for yourself with that money” - of course, if it were a million dollars I would like a night out. :slight_smile:

Despite there being no problems, last minute changes to wills are overlooked and I would assume (big assumption, grant you) that it is easier to put in blood relatives than worry about changing it for weddings or divorces.

My grandfather was rather wealthy, and died last year, apparently leaving most of his money to the church. So far as anyone’s aware, he’d not been to church, apart from for weddings and funerals, since his parents stopped making him go as a teen. I think my mother and aunts did get the money from selling the house ( house value approx. £80,000, grandfather’s total wealth approx. 1.5 million), but nothing else- none of us grandkids got a penny. I did always know that would be the case though…

One of my great-uncles has apparently hidden his will, and left a treasure trail to it- complete with clues. We then have to do something involving his ashes and the South China Seas… He said he doesn’t like people getting all upset at funerals, so he wanted to make sure we’re all glad he’s dead :smiley:

I see a codicil in my future. :smiley:

Well, one might as well make it as entertaining as possible. I’m considering adding a clause requiring that a certain locked box be burned, unopened, and the ashes mixed with salt and scattered at a particular set of coordinates.

Someone with better search-fu will likely find the story, but I remember reading about a man who died during the Depression and made a number of joke bequests, such as leaving shares in a brewery to temperance ministers, but also he left a substantial amount of money to the woman who gave birth to the most children in a 10 or 20 year period.

He might have been a Canadian.

I have a relative who left me something in his will, with the provision that I sell it and donate the money to his church. Needless to say, I am strongly morally opposed to giving the money to a church, especially this particular church.

Is there anything stopping me from just keeping the money, or doing something else with it? I would never actually keep the money myself, but what about donating it to an actual worthy charity?

You’re thinking of Charles Vance Millar and the Great Stork Derby.

You’re close. An attorney from Toronto, Charles Vance Miller’s will supposedly stated that when he a large amount of money would be given to a woman in Toronto who could produce the most children in the ten years following his death. “Great Stork Derby.” Four women each produced nine children during the decade after Miller’s death, and each of the women received $125,000.

Follow-up questions:

Was it a “every female in the family has the next 20 years to birth as many children as possible, winner gets this set of extremely fancy steak knives”, was it “whoever birthed the most babies in the last 20 years gets these steak knives” or was it one of the above, but opened up to anyone on the planet? That could get interesting…