Strange Things To Will To An Heir, And Whether It's Allowed By Law

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When you decide to visit a wills attorney, you may have some unusual questions about what you can leave to heirs. There have been a lot of strange things left to unusual heirs for unusual purposes in times past. Here are just a few examples, and the outcome of the legal battles surrounding these unusual "gifts."

Frozen Embryos, Eggs, and Sperm

The frozen products of conception are definitely one of the stranger things left to a spouse or long-time partner. However, in the case of eggs and sperm, it is no longer an issue, especially if the sperm or eggs belonged to your now-deceased spouse. If you were not married, it can be hotly contested by next of kin that you not be allowed to use the sperm or eggs to create a child through in vitro or artificial insemination.

As for embryos, these are ready for implantation. It is very difficult to contest since part of your genetic material is already part of the embryos. Your spouse or partner would just have to leave very specific instructions and permission for you to implant the embryos in your womb or a surrogate's womb.

Willing Your Minor Children to a Relative

Hollywood loves making corny pictures about relatives inheriting nieces and nephews from newly-deceased siblings. However, you cannot legally will your children to a relative. You can make the relative the official guardian in the event of your death, but the relative must consent and sign the guardian paperwork and witness the will. This is a very rare and unusual event, but it happens most frequently with single parents who die of cancer or another serious illness.

Willing ALL of Your Worldly Possessions to Your Cats (or Other Favored Pets)

Somewhere in this country, you can legally marry an animal. Ergo, it should come as no surprise that wealthy people leave everything to their favored and favorite pets. Since animals cannot spend money or determine what is best done with their inheritance, a trusted caretaker is usually assigned to this post. You should, however, have a backup plan in case all of your animals pass away, and there is still wealth enough to go around.

Preserved Body Parts

The Egyptians kept well-preserved body parts in jars for the dead to use in the next life. Other religions encourage the gifting of preserved body parts to the living. You could will your heart in a jar to your beloved, or the left hand with your wedding ring still on it. Usually, people will their brains to science, especially if the are geniuses, or they die of rare diseases. This is all completely legal.

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