Personal Finance

How to decide distribution in a will (single, severely ill)

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 18th, 2018 8:07 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 21, 2016
178 posts
82 upvotes

How to decide distribution in a will (single, severely ill)

Hi,

I'm trying to get my affairs in order as my health is poor and there's a potential I don't have much longer. 30, single, no kids. I want to avoid putting family members in difficult positions where others take it out on them if I leave them some money, what suggestions do you have?

I'd like to give my home to my brother, life insurance payout to parents and then one cousin I'm very close to, I'd like to leave a significant sum to with the rest to parents. Anyone have experience where one family member is singled out and the rest turn on them? It will have a life changing impact for him so the others will find out but regardless, I'd like him to be taken care of. He's my best friend and getting married soon so it will be enough for the wedding and a home for them to start their life.

Thanks
Last edited by fern54 on Oct 4th, 2018 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
31 replies
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Aug 12, 2010
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This is the most moving post I've ever read on RFD.

Hope you have many comfortable days with your loved ones.
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Feb 19, 2010
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fern54 wrote:
Oct 4th, 2018 10:12 pm
Hi,

I'm trying to get my affairs in order as my health is poor and there's a potential I don't have much longer. 30, single, no kids. I want to avoid putting family members in difficult positions where others take it out on them if I leave them some money, what suggestions do you have?

I'd like to give my home to my brother, life insurance payout to parents and then one cousin I'm very close to, I'd like to leave a significant sum to with the rest to parents. Anyone have experience where one family member is singled out and the rest turn on them? It will have a life changing impact for him so the others will find out but regardless, I'd like him to be taken care of. He's my best friend and getting married soon so it will be enough for the wedding and a home for them to start their life.

Thanks
Death of family members is what really brings out the true character of people. It absolutely can get ugly.

My advice to you is to get an executor of your estate that you trust and to set your will up pretty much as you have laid out in your post. These are YOUR final wishes, not the wishes of some greedy relatives. Do what YOU feel is right and what YOU want to do and let the chips fall where they may. There is no way that you can cushion the blow for greedy idiots that think they deserve something from your estate. Besides, you should leave this mortal coil doing what you want, not trying to guess or succumb to the demands/wishes/desires of others.

Good luck and sorry for your situation.
Sr. Member
Feb 1, 2018
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Montréal
I'm so sorry to hear about your circumstances.

I have no legal expertise to offer you. But on a personal note, I will say, talk to the people in your life about your wishes while you can. Maybe you think it will make them sad, or uncomfortable, or you'd prefer to leave things unsaid. But I can tell you from having experienced loss that the very best thing is to give them the gift of hearing directly from you what it is that you want for them.

Sit down with your parents, brother, cousin, etc. and have that difficult conversation if you can. Explain your plans and your reasoning. If they love you -- and I'm sure they do -- then they will want to do everything they can to respect your wishes. And this way, if and when the time comes, there won't be any surprises and there's less likely to be any anger or resentment. And you can have the peace of mind knowing that your wishes are more likely to be respected.

Side note: Something we don't often think about -- drawing up a "digital will" with a list of your accounts and instructions on what to do with them. Do you want to give anyone access to your personal data? Do you want your accounts deleted? Memorialized? Do you want all your emails and personal messages deleted before anyone can read through them? What about your photos, do you want a family member to get access to those? Previous generations didn't have this concern, but we certainly do. If you speak to a lawyer or notary about your will, you might want to include some instructions related to this.
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Sep 21, 2010
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This is sad :( I got nothing to add but to consult a good wills & estates lawyer. All the best.
The richest 1% of this country owns half our country’s wealth, 5 trillion dollars, one-third of that comes from hard work, two-thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons, and what I do.. <find the rest>
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Nov 13, 2013
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Being singled out certainly does have the potential to cause friction. Almost every death I have been involved in has had that to some extent though when someone younger dies in my experience there is less of that (usually less money and more grief). Can you give the money to your cousin now? Obviously depending on the illness the prognosis could vary and you can't ask for it back but if you are looking at months rather than years that could be a good option and you could see the benefit of your gift while you are still alive.

Good luck with your decision and more importantly with your health!
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
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The challenge with wills and inheritances is that your family members all have different expectations - some of which are totally unreasonable. Fact is there is little that you can do about that. Make sure you contact an estate lawyer and have a proper, ironclad will. It may be worthwhile to hire an executor for your will that is a stranger and has no connection whatsoever to your family. I have seen cases where executors have re-arranged affairs because they didn't agree with the will. When family members are executors, many times there is little motivation to seek recourse when things go wrong.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 21, 2016
178 posts
82 upvotes
Conquistador wrote:
Oct 5th, 2018 12:25 am
Death of family members is what really brings out the true character of people. It absolutely can get ugly.
fogetmylogin wrote:
Oct 5th, 2018 6:31 am
Being singled out certainly does have the potential to cause friction. Almost every death I have been involved in has had that to some extent though when someone younger dies in my experience there is less of that (usually less money and more grief). Can you give the money to your cousin now? Obviously depending on the illness the prognosis could vary and you can't ask for it back but if you are looking at months rather than years that could be a good option and you could see the benefit of your gift while you are still alive.

Good luck with your decision and more importantly with your health!
Yeah this is what I'm trying to avoid because I know some of the extended family will get jealous that only one of them received so much and the rest nothing. Knowing the relationship we have, they shouldn't be surprised but I don't want him to be troubled by this after I'm gone, especially since I have always been the one to guide him through his issues and won't be there.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 21, 2016
178 posts
82 upvotes
soupmaster666 wrote:
Oct 5th, 2018 12:43 am

It will help the executor of your estate to keep your finances simple and your information up to date with all the major companies related. The worst thing you can do is have 10 million loans with different companies, or have your personal information with your major creditors in such a way that it does not match the information that will be on your death certificate.
I've already tried to simplify by having all debts paid off and have no mortgage left on my home already. The only thing I can think of is final income taxes which should be minimal since I haven't been able to work this year. Can you think of anything else? I will be getting an estate lawyer to draft everything but I'm preparing myself for that step.
seriesofcontradictions wrote:
Oct 5th, 2018 1:45 am

Side note: Something we don't often think about -- drawing up a "digital will" with a list of your accounts and instructions on what to do with them. Do you want to give anyone access to your personal data? Do you want your accounts deleted? Memorialized? Do you want all your emails and personal messages deleted before anyone can read through them? What about your photos, do you want a family member to get access to those? Previous generations didn't have this concern, but we certainly do. If you speak to a lawyer or notary about your will, you might want to include some instructions related to this.
Thanks! I'll include some instructions about this. Some services also let you specify someone who will have the ability to take over the account after death, I'll set that up too.
Member
Nov 28, 2017
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fern54 wrote:
Oct 4th, 2018 10:12 pm
Hi,

I'm trying to get my affairs in order as my health is poor and there's a potential I don't have much longer. 30, single, no kids. I want to avoid putting family members in difficult positions where others take it out on them if I leave them some money, what suggestions do you have?

I'd like to give my home to my brother, life insurance payout to parents and then one cousin I'm very close to, I'd like to leave a significant sum to with the rest to parents. Anyone have experience where one family member is singled out and the rest turn on them? It will have a life changing impact for him so the others will find out but regardless, I'd like him to be taken care of. He's my best friend and getting married soon so it will be enough for the wedding and a home for them to start their life.

Thanks
I have no experience, but I'd say do what you like, and communicate it to them in advance so it is not a surprise.

Sorry to hear of your health issues, but these are not children and dependents. No one should be expecting something from you.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2015
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Sorry to hear of your health.

Be sure to put in will, I'm sure lawyer does this, that if anyone contests will then they are not entitled to anything at all.

Pick an executor that will do what you say in will. Can cousin be this person. Have backup as well or joint executors perhaps?

Can also put conditions in will that these funds to be used for cousin's wedding, etc.

Discussion with a professional highly suggested since there is very likelihood of people contesting will.

As suggested above perhaps giving some of the funds now?

Put in a trust?

Above all, do not worry/stress how your wishes will impact other family members. Your money, your choice.
Jr. Member
Dec 25, 2015
108 posts
55 upvotes
Brighton, ON
Have your will drawn up by a lawyer. Tell the lawyer your concerns about bitterness of others, possible contesting. You can also leave a letter with the lawyer, explaining why others were left out, or why you chose only to leave something to your cousin.

An inheritance is a gift, not an obligation.

PS - I wouldn't leave conditions on the inheritance. I'm sure your cousin will put it to good use - no need tell them what to do with it.
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May 8, 2006
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Go and enjoy the money with your friends and family NOW. Spend it all.
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fern54 wrote:
Oct 4th, 2018 10:12 pm
Hi,

I'm trying to get my affairs in order as my health is poor and there's a potential I don't have much longer. 30, single, no kids. I want to avoid putting family members in difficult positions where others take it out on them if I leave them some money, what suggestions do you have?

I'd like to give my home to my brother, life insurance payout to parents and then one cousin I'm very close to, I'd like to leave a significant sum to with the rest to parents. Anyone have experience where one family member is singled out and the rest turn on them? It will have a life changing impact for him so the others will find out but regardless, I'd like him to be taken care of. He's my best friend and getting married soon so it will be enough for the wedding and a home for them to start their life.

Thanks
First, I am really sorry to hear of your serious health issues.

You do what YOU want to do. You seem to be taking care of the most important people in your life (your parents, brother and cousin), so the rest have to simply accept it. The key is having a properly written up will, and having it signed by witnesses and a lawyer. Once this is done, the rest of the family really has no say in the matter.

However, I do have some questions: Do you have other siblings? As in, one (or more) that you're not giving anything to? Or are you worried about the fighting because you're leaving money to only one of the cousins? Either way, it's your final wish, not theirs. So really, any fighting that might happen, might, will come from people that too self-centred and uncaring, and people you'd be glad you didn't leave anything to. So try not to worry about it.
How can we fly like eagles, when we're governed by Turkeys?
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Don't think about it too much... you obviously have more important things to worry about.
Talk to the people who you want to give to... have a little chit chat about tht. They might get uncomfortable or sad... But any sane human would just suck it up b/c they know its just your er... final wishes (see even I felt uncomfortable saying that).

If you're fam is going to be dicks about who gets what... Thats their OWN fault. You are being considering towards their feelings. But in the end of the day they gotta push their own negative thoughts behind... What are you going to do... Divy it up $1000 for each and every uncle/aunt/cousin/grand parent/sibling/parent/friends?? Nah... You have your final wishes and they gotta respect that.
But a good talk with the people who you want to give to will give you some peace. It will help them out & its super kind of you.

God bless

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