A client relayed a story to me earlier with respect to what happened when her mom died last year out in Wisconsin. Mom had put post-its on all the furniture and paintings and pictures indicating which should go to her daughters and grand-daughters and cousins, etc. Some of the items had been brought over from Sweden generations ago. When my client got to the house, one of the cousins who lived near Mom, and who was made executor, had cleaned out the house and didn’t at all abide by mom’s wishes. Because in the Will the Executor was given the authority over all personal property. The Will didn’t itemize Mom’s property, and indicated who should inherit which items. The post-it notes were obviously mom’s wishes, but didn’t have any effect under the law. If the Executor wanted to carry out mom’s wishes, she would have given the furniture to the relatives indicated on the post-it notes. But she didn’t, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

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