Leaving Estate to Charitable Organization

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    I am deciding who to leave my estate to and would like others to share their thoughts.

    I am 57 years old. My wife and I were married 13 years ago and she had/has 2 adult children. I have no children. At the time I had less the 100k in savings and earned about 90k/year. She had about 300k in savings and earned about 250k. Neither of us had a will at the time.

    Shortly after getting married, she created a will which leaves me 50k and the rest goes to her children. She said that since I made so much less money it seemed fair that I should not get much of her estate. I paid for 50% of all living expenses (mortgage, groceries, etc). I did not and have never objected to her position. Since then her net worth has increased to over 1MM and she has now retired.

    However, 5 years ago my career took a wild turn upward and I now earn a mid-6 figure income as a Fortune 200 executive. In 4 weeks my new position will put me in the top 0.5% of earners (I get a nice bump with stock options). By the time I retire my nest egg will be more than 3x hers. I am meeting with an attorney next month to finally make my will.

    We have never co-mingled finances because she felt that I didn’t make enough to make a difference. Her position has now changed.

    At the time she made her will she said I should have one too, but she didn’t care who I left things to. Now she cares, and she cares A LOT. She wants me to leave everything to her b/c I have no children, but she does not want to change her will.

    I am thinking about leaving her 50k in cash (as she did with me) and splitting the rest amongst some nieces, nephews, and charities.

    I do not want to leave anything to her 2 children. The reason for this is that they obsess over their mother’s estate and it is a constant topic of conversation. Another reason is that I have been asked to start relinquishing my possessions to them before I die. I find these things to be very distasteful.

    Please share your thoughts.

    • This topic was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by MAX LMAX L.
    Patrick APatrick A

    Certainly, deciding how to allocate your estate is a personal and significant decision. Considering the complexities of your situation, here are some thoughts for your consideration:

    Legal Consultation:
    Meeting with an attorney is an excellent first step. Legal professionals can provide insights into the implications of various decisions and ensure that your wishes are documented clearly in your will.

    Fairness and Changes in Circumstances:
    Your financial circumstances have changed significantly since your wife created her will. It’s reasonable to review and update your estate plans to reflect your current situation, ensuring fairness and alignment with your values.

    Communication with Your Wife:
    Open and honest communication with your wife is crucial. Share your thoughts and concerns about leaving the entire estate to her, especially given the significant increase in your wealth. It’s important to reach a mutual understanding and respect each other’s perspectives.

    Consideration for Nieces, Nephews, and Charities:
    If you have close relationships with nieces, nephews, or specific charities, allocating part of your estate to them can be a thoughtful way to leave a lasting impact beyond the immediate family. It’s an opportunity to support causes or individuals that hold personal significance.

    Handling Family Dynamics:
    Your decision not to leave anything to your wife’s children may impact family dynamics. Discussing these concerns with your wife and finding a compromise that respects your wishes while minimizing potential conflicts is essential.

    Maintaining Personal Boundaries:
    It’s reasonable to set boundaries regarding possessions and ensure that your wishes are respected during your lifetime. Discussing these boundaries with your wife’s children may help manage expectations and avoid uncomfortable situations.

    Future Changes:
    Keep in mind that circumstances may change in the future. Regularly revisiting and updating your will ensures that it reflects your current wishes and financial situation.

    Ultimately, the decision on how to distribute your estate is yours to make. Balancing fairness, open communication, and your values will guide you in creating a will that aligns with your vision for the future.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Patrick APatrick A.
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