If you Google ”Edward’s Will,” you will be immediately inundated with the media assertions that John Edwards was “left out” of Elizabeth Edward’s will See, Sample 1, Sample 2. While this is technically true, the media isn’t telling the whole story, and as such, the public is being misled as to how estate planning works.
You see, the will only covered the areas of personal property, e.g. jewelry, furniture, pictures, and the like, not realty or anything like that. Many wills leave personal property only to children. Secondly, the will was a pour-over will. This is an estate planning mechanism where-in anything not specifically given away will be put into a trust. The trust is administered by a trustee, who will then be distributing or maintaining the trusts’ assets. In this case, the trust is not-public. As it is not public, the media is merely speculating as to the fact that John Edwards truly received nothing.
Elizabeth Edwards was well aware of her medical issues. Additionally, she was of the type of people that certainly had a lawyer look over her estate planning issues. One such issue is the inability to disinherit a spouse, in her case John Edwards.