After the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams, his will resulted in a legal dispute between his 3 children and his wife. He had left all of his $100 million estate to his children with the addition that his wife would get to live in the house in Tiburon, and the children would inherit it after her death. Even though his will was very clear as to what his wishes were, his family members got into a dispute as to how the estate should be distributed. His will was very specific regarding his money and his house but vague when it came to things that were in the house he shared with his wife.
A bitter and expensive legal battle followed this dispute over the division of his estate. His clothes, his graphics novels, photographs, and other memorabilia caused significant disputes between each child and his wife. Williams’s widow claimed that the things in the house, such as all his personal items should not be included in the list of the items that were to be given to the children. The matter was settled out of court in 2015.
This shows that you need to be very clear and specific when it comes to the terms of your will because there are bound to be disputes over one thing or another.
This story would be funny if it weren’t so true. But this LW&T is a sad tribute to a father who wanted no more than to provide for his family. All this talk got me thinking about my Father’s last will and testament. For the sake of clarity so there is no misunderstanding, my Father is alive and well. He did though, consent for me and my siblings the privilege of reading His will.(1) He not only left us a fortune but specifically outlined the terms of what and how we should disseminate this treasure, so I’m trying to do my best to use my inheritance as per my Father’s wishes.(2)
I was adopted into His family in 1985(3) and even though I knew of Him I didn’t really know Him until that day He came to me with a proposition. He said to me that if I gave up my life – as it was(4) – and agreed to be His son and live in obedience to the house rules, He would make me an heir to His vast fortune(5). At first, I thought; this is too good to be true, He’s just a do gooder. I even questioned some of his children, all they could tell me was that their Father didn’t lie and that He means what He says and says what He means.(6) I couldn’t come up with a reason not to trust Him. I knew He was rich; He practically owns everything.(7)
By now my mind was working overtime. I was still apprehensive about the statements His children made and doubly apprehensive and confused about the proposition my future father made to me – I mean, who says that! This dilemma took me about three weeks of restless nights and days absorbed with this whole scenario. This quandary was either an elaborate lie or all my Christmases at once. Fighting with my conscience was like shadow boxing, mentally I threw punches but hit nothing.
With fear and trembling I stepped inside His house.(8) He spoke to me with a clear and tender voice unfolding even more of what was in store for me if I accepted His Word. He made it perfectly clear though – with utter seriousness – that if I accepted His offer, I must receive it in absolute surrender of my physical life and my self-will(9) – that was not easy to hear.
So, there I was, standing in front of Him a blubbering mess. All I was thinking of was how do I receive His offer in this way?(10) Next thing I knew I was on my knees, tears rolling down my face. Then the most humbling thing happened, He bent down, picked me up and said “Welcome home my son.”(11)
- Joshua 1:8
- Matthew 10:8b
- Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:14-17
- Ephesians 2:1-3
- Ephesians 2:4-10
- Number 23:19
- Psalm 24:1; Psalm 50:10
- Isaiah 55:6
- Jeremiah 29:12-13
- John 1:12
- Matthew 25:23