Blog Archive: February 2013

In cities across the country (and the world), curious people of all ages and backgrounds are gathering regularly to share cookies, drink coffee, and talk about death. Known as "death cafes," these gatherings are intended to offer a forum for people to discuss a topic that—as we well know—most of us have trouble talking about.

A Matter of Life and Death

As an only child with a single parent, I was always scared to death of losing my mother. Life without her was terrifying and unimaginable. As a child and a young adult, I pushed this fear to the far back corners of my mind and tried to avoid ever thinking about it.

And then, three years ago, I was forced to confront my greatest fear. My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died in January of 2010, leaving me a 28-year-old nuclear family of one.

We're going to conclude our week-long discussion of wills by taking a little survey.

Have you created a will? Please let us know in the comments section.

If you have created a will, what motivated you to finally do it? Did you work with an attorney to write your will, or did you use an online legal service? What was your experience of creating a will like?

In Huguette Clark's wills she included lots (and lots) of money, a Monet "Water Lilies" painting, her Santa Barbara, CA estate, and her doll collection. Based on this wide range of items, it would seem like a person can include nearly anything in her will. This is pretty much the case…but not entirely.

One of the reasons that Huguette Clark's family is contesting the validity of her will is because of the stark differences in the content of the last two wills she wrote. Not only were the wills written and signed only six weeks apart, they offer wildly different visions of how Ms. Clark wanted her assets distributed. Today, we're going to talk about how assets can be distributed in a will. Yes, we'll be using pie charts.