Wills and the Aftermath

Posted by on Feb 2, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments



This particular entry is one I’ve been wanting to post for a while now as it gives new meaning to the proverb “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” or in this case a way out for some.  It’s also something that’s gone on in families for years and will continue to indefinitely.  Anyone having gone through the formalities of a will, especially if it pertains to a substantial amount of money, property or other article of value can more than identify with what I’m about to write.  Many families, large or small are extremely tight-knit enjoying get-togethers as often as possible.  Of course not everyone agrees on everything particularly at holidays and when coupled with alcohol which happens quite frequently in families but nonetheless it’s still a time for people to all visit with each other.  While family gatherings can be a time of happiness, stories, laughter, numerous photos and of course food things can drastically change when a member possessing a vast financial portfolio passes away.  The smiles abruptly fade thus exhibiting peoples’ true colors as dark as can be.


Whether someone passes away from old age, a long-suffering illness, suddenly or any other unfortunate manner if they were well off in terms of resources just about everyone’s hands become outreached in wanting their share.  Of course there’s the heartache and tears, especially at the funeral, wake or other type of service held but once the procession is over and the grief has somewhat subsided the subject of the will arises as the tears quickly dry replaced with widened eyes and perked up ears at the thought of what relatives will soon be inheriting.


Whether family members attend the reading of the will or receive a copy in the mail often times when they learn what, how much or little they’ll be receiving as opposed to others emotions ranging from jealousy to pure rage are immediately incited.  Some feeling a sense of entitlement while others think certain people should never have been written in.  By the time the estate attorney or whoever else reading the will aloud or the person/persons reading it on paper is finished some are ecstatic over their newly acquired inheritance while others want to punch specific beneficiaries in their throat, throats or possibly commit some other bodily injury to them.  I’m sure they’ll also be cursing the testator due to their decision as to who gets what.  


I can only imagine the expletives spoken/screamed by relatives who feel completely f*cked over once they get into their vehicles as they leave or have finished reading what they’ve just been left.  Forget the family functions as now emotions of bitterness, resentment and possibly hate run strong thus destroying any future plans of togetherness for years to come if not permanently.  Suddenly widows, siblings and every relative named or not named in the will feel they should have received more or at least something while at the same time they feel others shouldn’t have gotten anything.  Before long accusations begin, family members start dredging up things from the past while claiming to be perfect and before you know it that once close family is no more.  You now look at your family who, just weeks or even days earlier were as thick as thieves but now due to the death of a member who had a large amount of money, property, valuables and even insurance policies certain people aren’t speaking to one another while verbal as well as physical confrontations occur among others and in many cases family members contest the will for a number of reasons.  This is prevalent in many families as it’s occurred in mine on more than one occasion and I guarantee things are never the same as they’d once been prior to the loss of a relative.


Then there are situations of someone having been in a relationship with a person.  They’re as much a couple as can be except they aren’t married and neither is in the other person’s will.  They do everything together including having children then one of them dies unexpectedly and immediately the man or woman’s family shows up complete with their attorney and World War III erupts.  Since there was no will the deceased person’s family claims they have exclusive rights to his/her worldly goods while their better half fights back and since a child or children are involved it becomes even more contentious.  From litigation to going so far as to hire private investigators to dig up their past it becomes an absolute nightmare for everyone involved and many times the end results are not fair.  The same thing goes if the man or woman has children from a previous marriage or relationship as now they’re clashing with their parent’s domestic partner in court over what else?  MONEY!!!!!!!  Even going so far as to evict that person from the home they’ve been living at with their partner and many times the children legally have that right.  Lovely.


There are also times when illegitimate children suddenly appear out of nowhere after the person they’re claiming to be their parent who was well off dies adding more unnecessary grief to the family or other member who mysteriously crawls out of the woodwork now that a relative they’ve only met a few times, once or never has passed as they deviously seize the opportunity to cash in.  The perfect plot for innumerable Lifetime Movies.


Isn’t it strange how, when someone wealthy becomes ill and knows they don’t have much time suddenly relatives who’ve had little or no contact with them begin to appear making it seem as if they’re worried about their ailing aunt, grandfather, etc. when in reality they just want a piece of the pie filling and all only to discover it’s often times rancid?  Many times they’re hoping to make it big by relying on their family member to kick the bucket in hopes of inheriting bank.  Forget working at a job like most people just wait for your rich relative to croak.  And let’s not forget kissing one’s ass in hopes of collecting which is quite prevalent in families as the outcome is sometimes in the person or leeches’ favor yet other times is not.    


That old saying of how life isn’t fair is exemplified especially when it comes to wills in terms of who gets what and how much when a sizable amount of money is involved.  I can only imagine the infinite number of families who’ve battled each other out in court over a relative’s assets often times making them like asses.  Insults slurred, allegations yelled, fistfights, gavel pounding and everything in between because everybody involved wants what they feel is theirs.  Those who say money doesn’t always change people can try bullshitting themselves but let them be named as beneficiary in someone’s will and inherit a considerable amount of cash then we’ll see if they’re the same person as beforehand.  


There’s a program called The Will: Family Secrets Revealed that, unfortunately is no longer on that depicted real-life stories of celebrities, political figures and other important people who bequeathed what and to whom which caused nothing but dissention and legal disputes sometimes fueled by greed yet others simply wanting what’s just.  Whether it’s the children fighting their mother/father’s spouse who, most times isn’t their biological parent over money, high-priced items, property or in many instances royalties.  Often times it’s the second or third wife of someone notably wealthy who only married him for his money and is now wrangling with his kids, who are many times around the same age or even younger than them as her over his estate.  There have been so many stories about famous people and the internal chaos enduring in their family as they all go for the jugular in terms of getting what they want.  The sad thing is most of the time the stepmother or sibling winds up with the majority of the funds while the children receive only a portion of them.  I loved watching the program because it made me realize no matter how rich a family is they also have problems.  Sometimes more than others as they strive for what they believe is theirs.       


Then there are lessons parents or other relative like to teach members of their family.  Take for example, an astute businessman who amassed a fortune and his kids feel they’ll be more than taken care of after he’s gone.  Imagine their aghast upon discovering he left them only a fraction of his net worth or nothing at all depending on the person with the rest being divided between his wife which most likely won’t be his first and may even include HER children, various charities or someone/something else.  They’re immediately consumed with immense rage and possibly hatred even resulting in them being glad they’re father’s dead.  Why?  Because as his children they felt deserving of having his entire estate be equally split among them and now they feel royally f*cked over.  Maybe they were but at the same time maybe their father had reasons for doing what he did.  Whatever the case this has happened in many families and whether it’s right or wrong it undoubtedly affects each member.


My feelings run deep regarding money inherited from someone’s will as I know firsthand how much friction it can cause.  It’s also one of the many reasons why families are never the same as they’d once been following the passing of someone having had a tremendous amount of means.  I also feel that in many situations those who are left a significant amount of money are not at all deserving of it while those who truly are receive only a snippet of what they should.  A prime example of how unjust life can be.  Such are the cases of men/women who marry solely for the purpose of financial gain.  They cause a lifetime of turmoil among their now widowed family often times with the end result being that they’ll be set for life or at least for a time being depending on their lifestyles while the children of the deceased receive a paltry amount of what they should have.  Almost as if the widow or black widow has the devil on her/his shoulder.


Other instances include family members, business partners, so-called friends or a number of other unscrupulous people who manipulate somebody into changing their will or naming them sole beneficiary of their entire estate.  Another example could be family members or distant relatives who are not at all close to someone yet due to a number of legal reasons could end up with all that person’s valuables including policies whereas that same person could have had a caregiver who always made sure they were fed, clothed and alright but since they had no will made out that person’s out of luck unless of course they want to take it to court thus adding more compounding problems to the situation.


The list goes on in terms of how completely arduous it can be when it comes to the protocols of a will including everyone involved but one thing I know is that life has a way of balancing or in this particular circumstance evening things out.  While it’s true that greed consumes countless people, especially upon learning (or planning) that they’re being named as beneficiary in someone’s will all the cash/materialistic objects they obtain are not at all good and if anything are evil goods.  It’s not money they worked for but rather collected or schemed to get their hands on and despite whatever acquisitive items they buy with that corrupt money I like to think it will most definitely come back to them in more ways than they could ever think possible.  Unfortunately; however, it doesn’t always work like that as there are people who commit malevolent acts their entire lives and nothing ever happens to them.  They live superb lives despite what they did to get the money but instead of karma coming back at them they continue to live carefree, often times extravagant lives.  That’s when one questions God as I have innumerable times and will for the rest of my life. 

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