I have 3 great kids, but my oldest son hasn't spoken to me in several years and has not acknowledged the recent death of his stepfather (my ex husband) that I have been caring for for the last ten years. My other two children have helping me in so many ways.
Nobody contested it, but it was so in character for her to do this.
Wills are not gifts or rewards. They are simply a legal way for someone to distribute their estate, Nobody OWES anybody anything.
Mother has written sis in and out of her will so many times...and it's such a joke b/c we all stand to inherit just less than $10 K. Won't make a bit of difference to me. She still holds it over our heads and it makes me laugh. She has nothing and that's fine. I don't WANT anything and I don't like the way she's pretended she's "rewarded" some of the sibs more "justly". It's just ridiculous.
If I've got this right, your three great kids *include* the oldest son from whom you are sadly? estranged, and you are feeling hurt that even knowing about your loss he has done nothing to be reconciled.
How recent was your loss?
Would it not be wiser to let it be until you have had more time to adjust? There is more to your relationships with all of your children than how you are feeling right now.
There are also more ways to appreciate your other children's kindnesses than leaving them a headache in your will :)
I hope things will get better for you, and that eventually your son will make an effort to explain himself.
I was told a long time ago, if you are leaving a child out of your will, leave them a dollar. This way you have acknowledged them and they can't contest the will. If you don't want to be that drastic, you can just leave him a small monetary amount. Leaving the bulk to the two who helped.
You will hear from caregivers who found after years of caregiving, the child who did nothing got the bulk of the estate. Or, the ones who did nothing showed up after a parents passing with their hands out.
Your Will can show how much you appreciated the two who did help. You can also show the one who didn't, how disappointed you were.
We still have our sane minds. But the health issues continue to grow. We have some very self-involved offspring, from previous marriages, All but one of the sons/daughters have major substance abuse/alcohol abuse issues in teens and early adulthood. Three continue to be alcoholics. We do not, never did those things.
Now all are between 40-50 years old. Old enough to be acting as responsible adults. Due to their personalities developed around their drugs of choice, all but one are very emotionally stunted, pretty much self-absorbed. They Ignore us; after so many years of their poor behavior, we actually prefer being spared their lifestyle drama. Tired of the constant holding out hands, but never helping parents, not visiting, nothing. We don’t expect them to lift a finger to assist us, ever. They certainly never have during major illnesses we’ve had. Have always got better use for their incomes than visiting their parents.
I’ve made sure all CDs are POD to the one son who gives a crap. Due to the drug/alcohol issues, the non-named ones’ offspring aren’t in touch with us grandparents. The ex wives prevented contact out of vindictiveness, not because we weren’t good grandparents. Sadly. So, it’s a dilemma as to whether to leave my other sons’ offspring my sons’ share. My middle son has gone so far as to try to elicit promises of certain items of mine he wants. Things I’m currently using in my home. It makes me feel like he’s just wishing for me to die, as he has done similar things to his grandparents when they were living. He didn’t have any time for them either. I personally find it very offensive, as nobody is entitled to a thing another person has worked for, outside and of the spouse. It is doubtful we will have anything left anyhow, due to medical needs. It’s just so aggravating that people view their parents as givers, nothing more. While I don’t feel inheritances are rewards, I plan all to go to the single son who gives a chit.
Otherwise you could be constantly changing it depending on who has been naughty or nice. Are we Santa Clause's or just human beings who want to leave something for kin?
I guess it really depends on how strongly you feel about this.
Whatever you do, do it sooner rather than later. Since the older you get, the more convincing anyone contesting the will can claim impairment.
That discourages greed but it still has to go through the court, at the expense of the estate.
Doing a trust would guarantee your wishes are followed, then you would have a pour over will that directs everything goes to the trust, so no assets go directly to any beneficiary of your will. You can then state that your oldest is being intentionally left out and the reason if you choose. The trust is not a public document and you aren't even entitled to see it unless you are a beneficiary.
I am sorry for your loss of your husband, as well as your oldest child.