Over the course of the last decade, I have helped my clients write a wide variety of wills. Some of them are touching and include letters to family members letting them know how much they loved them. Other wills have included spiteful wishes. One will had a husband leave money to the person who had mowed his wife’s grass while he was out of town. Another gentleman who loved scotch gave elaborate wishes for the type and amount of scotch that should be drunk at his funeral.
Some of the most meaningful wills are those that include messages to family members. One of my favourite wills I was involved with was a will written by a wonderful Edmonton school teacher who had a close group of friends that got together every week for a cup of earl grey tea and fresh biscuits. Over the course of her life, she had collected and been given many beautiful teapots. Upon her death, her Executor had an elaborate tea party for all her family and friends at the Rutherford House. During the tea party, the Executor gave each of the friends a specific bequest that they had been left in the will. Each friend received one of her teapots. This memorable tea party created a meaningful way for the family and friends to celebrate the life of a great teetotaller.
Another one of my favourite wills involved a St Albert mother that had a 5 foot, (yes that is feet not inches) potato peeler. It had been a running joke in her family that when mom died she was going to leave the peeler to her children so they could finally peel some potatoes.
When I met with her to create her will, she asked me to help her create a potato peeler Trust! The Trust outlined that the 5-foot peeler was to be given to her son to hang on the wall of his home in even-numbered years and her daughter would have it in odd-numbered years. The trust also asked that the children get together at Christmas to exchange the peeler. Upon her death, her children maintained this tradition and now grandchildren who were not even alive upon her death, fondly tell stories about their grandmother and her potato peeler.
Celebrate your life! Your Will is a document that captures your last wishes and should be legally correct but also accurately reflect who you are and what is important to YOU. Contact our office and we will take the time to help you document your thoughts, wishes and prayers in your Will AND show a little bit of your personality too! Your family will be forever thankful.