Drafting Yourself a Gift Self-Quiz








Your mom Gazilda asks you, an eminent attorney, to draft her will. This makes you nauseous, as you could never face the notion that your mom Gazilda is a mere mortal and might one day pass on. You figure, though, that if you work hard you could save Gazilda a pretty decent amount of money. As a practicing attorney you know that these kinds of tasks cost clients lots of money, especially if an estate is somewhat complicated. Your mom’s estate is, in fact, rather complicated, given that you have three brothers and two sisters (two brothers are from Gazilda’s earlier marriage to a plastic cup salesman she divorced before you were born) and your mom has assets entangled in far-off places which you have trouble pronouncing. Nonetheless, you’re a superstar, and you know you can handle the task. One problem – you realize you stand to take as a beneficiary in the will. Can you draft the will and include a gift for yourself in it?
Choice 1 Yes, without exception.
Choice 2 No, the conflict is irreconcilable.
Choice 3 No, unless you obtain the written and informed consent of all the beneficiaries to the will who stand to be cheated by any improprieties.
As a celebrated trusts and estates lawyer, you have handled the estates of the rich and famous and have acquired a reputation as an exciting, world-traveling romantic. Older folks, some in their twilight years, seek your services and your company. One client, Pat Youngin, falls for you sincerely. Pat wants you to prepare a will, and include a clause stating that you receive Pat’s precious 30-foot yacht upon Pat’s passing. May you do so?
Choice 1 No, because Pat is not a family member.
Choice 2 Yes, because there is no ethical issue.
Choice 3 Yes, provided Pat provides written consent.

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