Posts Tagged ‘inheritance’

Do I get the inheritance that was promised to me?

Friday, April 12th, 2013

A woman (let’s call her Sue) called my office this week and explained that she had been a caregiver for an elderly lady (lets call her Sadie) and Sadie had promised to give Sue her car when Sadie passed away.   Sadie did indeed pass away recently and Sue found out that Sadie had a Will but there was no mention of Sue in the Will at all.  Sue wanted to know if she could enforce the oral agreement that she would get the car.

Unfortunately for Sue, the short answer was ‘no’.

Sadie could have added the gift of the car to her Will at any time before her death.  Instead her Will had not been changed in a number of years and all of her estate was to be divided equally between her children.

Sue explained that the children never came to see Sadie while she was alive, and they never visited her in the hospital or nursing home.  Sue had worked for Sadie for a number of years and she was the only on-going companion and friend in the last few years of Sadie’s life.

Of course, this is only one side of the story and I have no way of knowing if it is true or not.  It doesn’t really matter because the estate will be distributed according to the terms of the Will and Sue will not receive the car (or anything else).

There is a moral to this story.  Everyone should review their estate planning documents, including the Will, at least every few years just to make sure that you don’t want to make any changes.

If Sadie had done this review, she could have easily left her car to Sue as she wanted.  As it stands now, Sadie’s friend Sue is left with nothing.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at