Saturday, 28 June 2008

Where there's a will, there's a way/ I heart Brooklyn

Don't get me wrong, Manhattan is v cool. I love going out to all these cool little bars and lounges in the Lower East Side. But this part of Brooklyn is great, I left my flat this morning, walked up my street where there were a couple of guys on the other side of the road fixing up a car, and a bunch of cute little Latino kids playing with a ball. They stopped as I was passing so as not to hit me, and waited until I was well out of reach before starting again - so polite. The cafe I'm in now serves proper tea, in a proper tea cup, is playing Erykah Badu and has big comfy armchairs, air con and no other customers. I like living in a neighbourhood.

Perfect way to laze about on a Saturday. And no-one nicked the paper today.

Unfortunately, I have to catch up on yesterday's Will's lecture which I could not make head nor tail of (as I had missed Wills 1 on Thursday - so all the lingo meant nothing to me). Also it was deadly dull. Deadly, deadly dull. What you can and can't do etc in a will.

Most of it obvious - you can't screw creditors (e.g. Visa) because they take priority, always. Interestingly however, you also can't screw your spouse. Ever. (Unless you're divorced or had the marriage annulled, in which case they're no longer your spouse I suppose).

If you try and screw them out of your estate, they can elect to have the will rejigged so that basically they still get a third. So you can't ever leave them less than a third.

You can however screw your kids in the will. (I think in France you can't even do that actually, but may be wrong). I guess I'll find out next year what the UK Law position is.

Which brings to mind a recent article in the NY times - a millionaire who went through life seemingly hating his kids, but left all his money to poor kids in Panama

Naturally his wife is disputing the will, and his lawyer is being accused of some dodgy dealing. Amusingly though, there is reference to the curmudgeon laughing when his will was referred to (i.e before he died) telling his step kids that they would laugh when they saw his will.

I'm afraid all this girl has to leave the world are a few bits of jewellery and a laptop - nothing to get litigatory over!


Asp said...

"you also can't screw your spouse. Ever."

I suppose that links to the old joke that Wedding Cake is the best contraceptive.

I'm sorry, that lowered the tone...

Anonymous said...

Hiya Mel,

Glad to see that you've embraced the whole NY experience with such joie de vivre - such a diametric opposite when it comes to the matter of wills and the rules of intestacy, which I tend to find, as a subject, dryer than a ducks shaved ar*e!

Mel said...

Haha, I hadn't thought of it that way Asp. Yes indeed. I think that may well be why someone people want to 'cut' their spouses out of the will!