Mark and Sally brought their 5 week old daughter, Rachel to visit Rachel’s grandparents over Easter so everyone could see their new “Bundle of Joy”. On Sunday night after a great weekend with family, the couple left for the 250 mile trip home. About 45 minutes later there was a knock on the grandparents’ door. It was the Sheriff. The Sheriff asked if they were the grandparents of Rachel. The grandmother said yes and he asked if they would sit down. He said in a solemn tone, “I’m so sorry to tell you, but Mark and Sally were killed in a car accident. Rachel has survived, and we now have to figure out custody for her.”
Mark and Sally had not taken the time to write a will and name Christian guardians. Both families thought they were best suited to raise Rachel. Unfortunately, there was a long court battle that split the two families. When the Judge ruled on the case, he felt it would be in the best interest of the child if a non-relative would raise her.
As difficult as this process was, it became even more difficult when Rachel turned 18. At 18, she received the proceeds from the business, life insurance, and all other assets that were left to her. Rachel had lots of friends who all enjoyed to party on “Rachel’s Dime”. Unfortunately, once the money was gone, so were her friends. A lump sum inheritance isn’t always a blessing.
One day I went to visit my mother, who suffered from dementia. As we began to chat, my mother asked if I would like the old rocking chair passed down from my Great Grandfather. I smiled, and said, “Of course!” She then asked me to put my name on a piece of masking tape and put it on the bottom of the chair. Being the good son I was, I did as mom asked.
About a month later I went to visit her and the conversation came around to the chair. She asked, “Ron would you like that rocking chair from your Great Grandfather?” Once again I replied, “of course!” and she asked me to put my name on it. I said it was already there but she insisted that it wasn’t, so she asked me to do it another time. “Anything to please mom” I thought, and I wrote my name on the tape. Then, I turned the chair upside down and to my surprise, my sister’s name was there, and my name was gone! To please my mom, I removed the tape with my sister’s name and taped my own name once more.
Near the end of her life, my mom could not remember who was there last and what she was doing. Thankfully before this point, she had created a Will and in it she had stated that the chair should go to my sister and the rest of her estate was to be divided equally among all of her children. This was a blessing, because it prevented what could have been a fight amongst the family at a time when we needed each other the most.