hile watching Downton Abbey, with all the splendor and pageantry of the upper-class British aristocracy included, it occurred to me how fortunate we are today to be able to control what happens to our estate when we pass away.
Lord and Lady Grantham of Downton Abbey have three daughters that cannot inherit the estate. Lady Mary, the eldest daughter, must marry a male Crawley in order to keep the Abbey in her family. As you can imagine, this creates excessive amounts of discord and mayhem for everyone, especially as Maggie Smith, who plays the imposing Dowager Countess of Grantham, tries to orchestrate the affections of the girls into the arms of Matthew, heir to Downton Abbey. Even with all of the Dowager’s scheming, Mary falls in love with Matthew and he with her. This allows the family to remain in the ancestral home.
Fortunately, we no longer have to live with the absurdity of antiquated inheritance law. However, this does not mean that the future of your estate should be left to chance (unless you are lucky enough to live with Maggie Smith!). Many families wait too long to make an estate plan with dire consequences resulting. For example, in blended families where one parent has remarried and the new spouse does not get along with the children, inheritance complications and family drama can ensue, which can tear a family apart – if the family does not create a plan to suit their unique needs! Such a situation is, unfortunately, not all that uncommon.
Don’t despair! Whether you live in Downton Abbey or a little home in Jacksonville, Florida, we can help! Cramer Law Center will help you formulate a plan that will work for you and your family.
Pip, pip! Cheerio!