All About Estates

Ignorance is Bliss

Our friend recently told us that his sister had done a DNA genetic test with one of the companies that provides ancestry and  health information.  What she found out was not what she was expecting at all.  No, she does not have ‘royal’ roots but she does have twin half brothers that she did not know existed.  It turns out that my friend’s mom had, before she married his father, given birth to twin boys that she had given up for adoption over 65 years ago.

The mom had never mentioned this to anyone and kept it her secret which would have remained as such, except for these tests results.   My friend and his sister decided to track down their new found siblings.  The twins had been adopted together and they believed, they had no other siblings themselves, until they received a phone call from my friend and his sister identifying themselves as close blood relations.  The boys, who are now men in their late 60’s were excited to learn about their new relatives and a  family reunion of sorts took place.  The twins then wanted to meet their biological mother.

Unfortunately at the time of this discovery, their mother was in the late stages of dementia; as such my friend and his sister decided that it would not be a good idea for them to meet her.

Now, fast forward one year later when their mother died. Fortunately for her, she believed her secret was still hers alone; although it was no longer. My friend was the executor of his mother’s estate and the question on their minds was what was the exact wording of her will?

Did she simply indicate her estate was to be shared equally between her children or did she specifically name them?  Perhaps it is a clear from a legal perspective that once someone is given up for adoption they no longer have the same rights but at that moment, it was unclear to my friend.  In this case, their mother had named them (my friend and his sister) as her sole beneficiaries.  From my perspective I found this to be a very interesting story. But from theirs, it is so much more……..



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About Audrey Miller
About: Audrey Miller, Managing Director of Elder Caring Inc. has over 30 years social work and rehabilitation experience working with older individuals and their families. She advises the financial, insurance, legal and business communities regarding elder care issues. Audrey is a recognized expert in her field. Email:


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