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What Does Your Will Say about You?

We often think the process of estate planning is mostly about finances. However, how we distribute our estates also says a lot about who we are as people and what we value.

Every will ever accepted into probate in England and Wales since 1858 is stored in a single depository. Previously, only researchers were allowed access to the contents of the depository.

Now, however, a new project to digitize the wills and put them online for all to see for a small fee allows anyone to read the wills of Britain’s rich and famous.

This has allowed for a new window into what those famous people valued.

Recently, The Guardian reported on some of those famous wills in an article titled “Last Orders: What do our wills say about us?

Some of the wills reported are:

  • Princess Diana – She left a small, but not insignificant sum to her butler.  She also decreed that her brother was to look after her personal effects until her son, Prince Harry, reached the age of 30.
  • A.A. Milne – The rights to Winnie the Pooh were left to four different groups, including the author’s family and the Royal Literary Fund.
  • George Orwell – Instructed that no biography of him should be written.
  • Beatrix Potter – Declared that hunting by otter, hounds and harriers would be prohibited on her Troutbeck property.

The interesting thing about wills in the United States is that they are a matter of public record.

Accordingly, anyone can access your will.

If you would like to keep the details of your estate plan private, then contact an experienced estate planning attorney about probate avoidance planning.

One popular method is to create and “fund” a revocable living trust.

Reference: The Guardian (June 12, 2015) “Last Orders: What do our wills say about us?

Hear From Our Clients
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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce