Don’t name the bad in a will


Prince died without a will!

His estate WAS worth $600 MILLION US DOLLARS!

HALF of it now goes to the Federal government, known for its ability to handle money so well.

What if he had willed half of it to drilling water wells in Africa?

And the other half to music programs in struggling schools?

This reminded me of my draft about wills.

So you have a will?…


Why not?

What keeps you from doing it?


You have time for Netflix though?

This is so easy! Will take you just a few minutes.

I’m begging you- I’ve even provided the link.

$39 and you get the combo kit

Do it.
This post will still be here, I promise.

Welcome back!

Let’s suppose you want to give nothing to little Sid or Sally after passing and want to make a statement. “Sid was a lout and gets nothing!” or “Sally was a terrible friend and gets nothing from me, I tell you!”

As an amateur genealogist, I see this a lot in wills from the 1600s-1800s.

“Jacob, oft in trouble with the law, receives nothing”

He might have if the lawyers had had their way.

Guess what?

If a person is named in a will, he or she can fight it in court.


Better to leave the names of “Sid” and “Sally” OUT of the will entirely than to mention them at all.

They will get the message.

That they:
*Didn’t treat you well
*Didn’t live a kind life
*Couldn’t be trusted to steward God’s money

Research shows that over 90% of US millionaires are first generation self-made. Also, that unless generations are taught how to be a good steward of God’s money, it’s spent by generation 3.


Many of my ancestors had big, fine houses and estates in the day: one owned part of Block Island, another 7,000 acres of timber country, several others had plantations and grand houses as above (that is just one of the grand houses).

So how did the money get squandered?

People used to have LOTS of children. Numbers of 11-20 children were not uncommon. Sometimes they would run out of ideas for names and name the child the same names or come up with weird ones like “Economy”. Yes, it’s a real name. That little girl probably had some issues…

Big farms to run. No birth control pill. Long winters without Netflix…

Math warning!:
Let’s say Jebediah and Sarah had 20 kids and their estate was worth  $1,000,000 in today’s money at Jeb’s death.

1/3 goes to Sarah, so she can keep the house going and pay the taxes, which were probably high when they were still British subjects. Britain used to TAX WINDOWS.

$300,000 to Sarah

$700,00 to the kids.

$700,000/17 (3 kids left out because Daddy was angry at them)
$42,000 each.

Not that much to make any of them independently wealthy.

And Sarah just thought dividing equally would be fair at her death (she lived 10 more years and redecorated the house):
$100,000 spent, $200,000 left.

$10,000 each

What about today’s smaller families of about 2-3 kids?
Jebediah VII and Sara are killed in a car crash and their estate is worth $1,000,000?

They tried teaching their 3 kids good stewardship of money but it fell on deaf ears except for one daughter.

The main beneficiary might be a foundation helping drill water wells in Africa or fighting some disease and to the other beneficiary, the daughter who “got it”. $500,000 to the foundation and $500,000 to the daughter. $0 to the 2 sons.

But let’s suppose the parents goofed on their will and mentioned all 3 kid’s names.

Economy $500,000
Zediah $0 ” He knows why!”
Jethro $0 “”

The 2 kids who received nothing hire a lawyer and fight the will. $500,000 goes to pay off the childhood McMansion, credit cards, cars and student loans because they seemed rich but lived the American nightmare in debt. After legal costs, each son then gets part of the inheriting daughter’s $500,000. It’s split 3 ways and after legal fees, there is $400,000 left.

Each gets about $133,000. Now not much of an estate or a way to steward a lot God’s money.

Zediah buys a bass boat and vacations.

Yes, I will keep hating on bass boats for a really long time…

Jethro buys a flashy sports car and still has a 30 year mortgage.

Economy pays off her mortgage and retires, sad that she can only send $20.00/month to a cause instead of the thousands she had envisioned to make a bigger difference.

A family fortune squandered by generation 2!

God’s money?!


It’s not ours.

It never was.

It took me listening a lot to Dave Ramsey, paying off debt and GIVING to understand this.

Ever notice how, in theory, good managers who handle the company finances will get MORE money to handle?

The better you handle it, the more you give once out of debt, the more you will have. Isn’t that weird?

Perhaps you dream of having enough to be comfortable, prepared for retirement AND helping your church and favourite charity.

Wouldn’t you LOVE to direct money to a cause you believe will make a difference instead of letting others choose?

Check your will.

There may be some names to remove or conversations to have.

You can do this.

Photo is the house of a great..great relative from the early 1800s.


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