President Calvin Coolidge devised his entire estate, giving everything to his wife and disinheriting his only child, in just one sentence:
Not unmindful of my son, I give all of my estate, both real and personal, to my wife, Grace Coolidge, in fee simple.
Although the will seems somewhat curt, it would have breezed through the probate process.
By merely mentioning his son in the will he eliminated any claim that the son may have as Coolidge’s heir.
The probate laws at the time allowed an “omitted child” (i.e., a child who is not expressly mentioned in a parent’s will) to claim a portion of the estate.
Coolidge’s will should serve as an example to those planning their estates. Often the fewer devisees you name and the less verbiage you add, the easier the document is to understand and to probate.
If you have any questions about estate planning please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.