No Right At All

Here’s a story which is guaranteed to get me going, and it’s a topic I’ve discussed before.  Seems as though this Old Phartte popped his clogs at age 91, and decided that because his grandchildren had never bothered to visit him while he was in hospital, that they weren’t worthy of getting any of his loot once he was gone.  So instead of cutting them out of his will, he left them each only a few bucks.

Needless to say, the grandchildren sued the estate, claiming that they were “entitled” to a third, rather than the 0.0001% thereof specified in his will.

Where do these people get the idea that they should be entitled to anything?  FFS, his estate, lest we all forget, is his own property — something that people (and governments, a rant for another time) seem to forget.

So if Grandpappy wants to leave his dough to Someone Not His Foul Grandchildren because they ignored him while he was alive, he’s perfectly within his rights to do so — just as if he were to give a birthday present to one person and not another.

This business of heredity “entitling” someone something is all well and good when it is, ahem, an actual title (e.g. royalty / nobility), but in the cold hard world of law and finance, descendants are entitled to nothing, if the owner of said estate says so.

Anyway, this group of ingrates lost their case, and a damn good thing it is too.  And for the record, they’re as ugly as they are greedy.


  1. My father in law used to refer to the reading of the will as a “grab bag”.

    Seems to reveal the core values of people better than anything else.

  2. One of my ancestors (not direct line, but lodged in the branches of the family tree) was a very rich man – worth something on the order of $10 million in 1906.

    He died laughing, by all accounts.

    He left each of his known relatives $100. The rest went to a long list charities and and a local university.

  3. As my father was in his declining years there were a number of modifications he could have made to his house which would have made his life easier. He resisted all efforts of my siblings and I to convince him to do them, even though he easily could have afforded to do so. He said things were good enough and he was going to leave the money to us kids. I told him, and my siblings agreed, that I didn’t care for his money and would be happy if he spent his last dime on the day he died if he was doing it to make his remaining time easier or if it made him happy.

    Heirs who view their elders as a source of income once they’re dead are scum

  4. After my dad died of what was basically a set of complications from extended Alzheimer’s, my mom got very upset with the whole process of setting his estate (it all went to her) and went to her financial guy and basically said, “I don’t want to put my kids through what I just had to do.”

    He’s a great guy, and he set things up so that when my mom died a few years later it went through without probate, and with my elder sister as executrix. My younger sister was the one who suggested that we pay our sister for the time spent doing all the stuff (selling my mom’s townhouse, etc.) and all of us siblings strongly endorsed the idea, wondering why we hadn’t thought of that.

    Between when my dad died, and when my mom died, we tried to encourage her to spend whatever she wanted on whatever she wanted, or wanted to do. All of us kids had been adults and on our own, and we expected literally nothing from her estate. As it turned out, she didn’t spend it fast enough. She took a bunch of trips (since my dad couldn’t travel for the last 5 or 7 years of his life), bought a new car, and some other things, but basically lived as she always had. For the last two years we finally convinced her to hire a housekeeper to do the weekly cleaning stuff, and they became fast friends, even taking her grocery shopping. We kept telling her that us kids would be happy if she died flat broke, but having spent her money (emphasis on “HER” money) on what she wanted.

    Funny thing: After she died us kids were gathered around the kitchen table in her townhouse with her financial guy on the phone. We asked him what to do with the contents of her purse, and he said that my elder sister should keep the checkbook (she was already a co-signer), and that the personal stuff should be set aside for later, and any cash should be split up right then and there. When my sister parceled it out four ways, it split evenly…right down to the last penny! We all stopped crying and started laughing simultaneously, saying that she must have planned it that way. That was my mom.

  5. I always told my late father-in-law that I hoped he died with a dime in the bank, having enjoyed the rest. It was one of the few things we agreed on – other than agreements to disagree. Sadly he left us long before his body passed. Dementia probably due to brain trauma connected with an accident. It was a foul thing to happen to a smart and articulate man. We weren’t friends, but I miss him.

  6. I’m a bit curious about how a man described only as a former soldier ended up with half a million, but I guess that these days, you can do this with steady work at a job with a good pension and moderate salary, plus a strong habit of putting a bit away for later. My Dad was a teacher at a community college, lived to 85 (longer than he ever expected to), and left $600,000 for us kids to split.

    As I understand it, the English tradition for the inheritance of noble and other estates came from William the Conqueror. His oldest son, Robert, was in armed rebellion against his father pretty much from when he grew big enough to be knighted. When William called for all his children to come to his death bed, Robert thought it was a ruse to lure him in to be arrested. Robert wasn’t there, the #2 son died in an accident, but William the #3 son was at his side. So old William proclaimed that what he got from his father would go to his oldest son (the Duchy of Normandy), but what he’d got for himself (England and everything else) would go to his choice, who is known to historians as William Rufus.

    Not that old William’s arrangements lasted. In a few years Rufus William had a suspicious hunting accident and the last son became King Henry I. This happened while Duke Robert was on the First Crusade (where he was clearly the highest ranking, so the other nobles sized him up and agreed the crusade would be run by committee, even in battle.) When Robert returned, Henry threw him in prison, where he died, and took Normandy also.

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