Last week my neighbor Phil told me that his mother in law recently passed away. After extending my condolences over his loss, I remarked that rarely had I seen such devotion as what his 17-year-old son Wyatt has felt toward his maternal grandmother. Throughout her bout of illnesses and a difficult passage to her death, Wyatt was always there for her.
Eventually our chat got around to her legacy. He said that his mother in law had left every thing to his wife Stella, her only child. He further commented that when Wyatt heard about her bequest, he asked: “But what about me?” Wyatt had spent time each day with his grandmother while she lived with them during the last two years of her life. Now that she was gone, what did he have to remember her by, other than memories?
Phil said that Wyatt was getting over his disappointment, and that he and Stella decided to allot a portion of the bequest for Wyatt’s higher education and a new laptop computer. But the hurt lingered.
How could this situation have been handled differently? Well, Stella and Phil could have talked with Stella’s mother and suggested that she leave something to Wyatt. It might have been a tough conversation….or not. Phil was sure that had they suggested leaving something for Wyatt, Gail would have agreed. But, sadly, no one thought of it.
This is our third blog that deals with holistic estate planning. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be a complicated process. But had a conversation taken place and Gail’s will included something for Wyatt, it would have had a profoundly positive effect on Wyatt for years to come.