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17 December 2012

Was It A Workaround?

In his early 19th century will, a Maryland ancestor appears to disinherit a daughter when he leaves everything to her two children and appoints a guardian for them.

The man writing the will might have not so much been disinheriting the daughter as he was avoiding a son-in-law. In the very early 1800s, when this will was written, a man would be able to exercise control over real property that his wife inherited. By leaving the real estate to his daughter's children, and appointing a guardian, the testator was providing for the children while circumventing the son-in-law.

And you thought that only people today who had to use creative ways to get around things. 

2 comments:

  1. I atteneded one of your presentations in Sarasota in 2010, and you talked about how the husband could basically take everything. Until then, I didn't realize this, or know that workarounds were possible! Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. I never thought of that. Sometime the daughter passed but is not mentioned as deceased. And in my case, many sons move out of state and were presumed dead. Is it sometimes they live too far away from their father that they are left out too? In my case my Dutch Mead family held on to their land for 200 + yrs, passing it down through their wills.

    In Fact I had a 2nd wife married to a Miller that did that so his children by his first wife would not get anything and hers would get all of her late husbands items; extensive land holding etc. She had 3 very young children and the others were older. The father's mistake was leaving the 2nd wife in charge of his will.

    The older children did fight for their right of their inheritance and won some of it back.

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