1. Rumwriter
    Offline

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    20

    Living will?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Rumwriter, Dec 24, 2014.

    I tried looking this up online, but couldn't find the answer. Perhaps one of you knows:

    Someone dies, and they bequeath something to you--let's say, a computer, just for argument's sake. How do you get the computer? Is it possible it would be mailed? In my plot, this is what I've got happening (and it's kinda crucial it come by mail). It's also a fantasy, so I'm willing to be a little lax with the authenticity, but I just wanted to see if this was an actual possibility.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    5,473
    My concern would be if your story requires that the computer just show up in the mail, without previous communication. That seems moderately unlikely, though others might disagree.
     
  3. Rumwriter
    Offline

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    20
    I thought about that also. But, this is also all for an animated TV series, so, it is okay if it isn't 100% realistic. But, that's always what to shoot for when possible, right?
     
  4. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,053
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    It wouldn't be a living will. I don't do wills but it seems like the testator could specify that the computer is to be delivered by mail, paid out of the estate.
     
  5. Rumwriter
    Offline

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    20
    You are right, it wouldn't be. Somehow my fingers just linked the two as I typed. Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  6. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,053
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    I wouldn't get hung up on it. Just say the will specified the mode of delivery. I don't think a viewer or reader will have a problem with it
     
  7. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Depends on who the executor is. Generally the executor is named in the will. They make all the arrangements. They might call the recipient to come pick it up. If the executor ships it, someone will need to pay for the shipping unless it was designated in the will. The executor is allowed to incur reasonable expenses and unless other heirs contest the expense, it could be shipped and billed to the estate.

    Typically if you are listed in the will, the executor would send you a letter telling you of your inheritance.

    Probate is also required for anything that involves stock, a retirement account, a bank account or property which is in the deceased's name (car and house) since there are legal aspects to transferring the title of these items.

    Smaller items also go through probate, like the furniture, and a computer would fall in this category. This depends on who cares. If it's just family, some of that stuff just gets taken home if all agree. But things that are named in the will have to have an appraised value and will be listed in the probate proceeding.
     
  8. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    If the deceased has indicated that he wants a particular person to receive the computer, there's no reason that it could not be sent in the mail. Usually the executor (or trustee, if it's been set up in a trust) would handle it -- in some cases, the executor could be an attorney, or an attorney at the direction of the executor might take care of it (if they were being sufficiently paid, or had a close relationship with the deceased or the person handling the estate). If the person could not pick up the computer, I don't see any reason why it couldn't be shipped. (If this is supposed to be a surprise, it's possible that the deceased could have left instructions to ship the computer to the person at that particular address.)
     
  9. Fitzroy Zeph
    Offline

    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    269
    Location:
    Canada
    From what GC describes, it sounds like the laws here are somewhat different. My understanding is you can name items for dispersal within a will, but most lawyers would advise against this. Regardless, would anyone literally mail a computer, whether it was in the will or not? Maybe send it Fedex Ground or UPS. If an estate is less than $10k here you don't need to probate.
     
  10. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    There are a whole lot of different ways you could set it up. Yes, you can get very specific in a will -- the reason most lawyers advise against it is that if you start getting really specific, there's too much opportunity for changing of minds, for stuff to get lost, not be in the condition it was in, to be argued over, which could result in a contest of the will -- it's generally not worth the bother. Usually, it is suggested to make a list and put it in a safe place, so the executor knows who is supposed to get what of the general items.

    Now, this would not have the same effect as a will, because it wasn't witnessed, etc. So, if there's something really important that should go to a specific person, then it should be mentioned.

    In the OPs situation, it could be either -- it could be so important that it's mentioned specifically in the will. Or it could just be mentioned, or somebody (lawyer or executor) was just told or given instructions for certain items that nobody really cares much about and it isn't expected that anyone is going to object to. It really depends on the value of the items and primarily on the personalities of the people involved.
     
  11. Fitzroy Zeph
    Offline

    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    269
    Location:
    Canada
    This could add to the intrigue of that particular item for story purposes.
     
  12. SwampDog
    Offline

    SwampDog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Back in Blighty
    Irrespective of how wills work in different countries - yes, it can be mailed/posted/delivered/whatever (why ever not?) - the intriguing part is the necessity for delivery by mail.

    If this was in the hands of the testator, was the testator asked to include delivery method in the will? If not, then it's a simple chat to the executor asking if they'd post it. And why wouldn't they?

    There's a story to weave around the distinct possibility that it's available for collection only. Do you want it or not? Come and get it. If not, it gets scrapped. And/or the testator being influenced in their will.
     
  13. Michael Pless
    Offline

    Michael Pless Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Australia
    If I were reading the story, I don't think I'd bat an eye at this part of it. You're writing a piece of fiction and by definition, some aspect of it cannot be true-to-life, and I feel that this detail is insignificant in terms of authenticity and it is essential to the story, as you say. Other things make me shake my head with dismay, when I read or watch fiction, but this wouldn't. I'd find it an intriguing and engaging start to a story.
     

Share This Page