Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mrs. Watson's Meticulous Will

Remember A tricky estate planning case, in which Olive Watson's adoptive daughter (and former lesbian lover) sought a share of the fortune left by Olive's father, Thomas J. Watson, Jr.?

Olive's mother, also named Olive, died at age 86, leaving the largest estate, over $126 million, to pay Connecticut probate fees last year.

Mrs. Watson made a new will, running more than 30 pages, shortly before her death. As described in the Hartford Courant, it's the work of a woman who clearly tried to leave no loose ends.

Specific pieces of jewelry were labelled for her granddaughters.

Mrs. Watson's six children will share summer usage of the 300-acre Watson compound on North Haven island in Maine:
[T]ime slots "shall be allocated on a rotating basis an equal period of use of such main residence during such period," Watson's will states.

What's more, "There should be at least a day or two between each such allocated period to permit the house to be cleaned and put in order for use during the next period."
Thomas J. Watson III, her oldest son, gets his choice of her cars, though she deemed the choice a formality: "I expect that my son will select my Mercedes sport coupe."

Summer of 1909, by Frank W. Benson, was painted at North Haven

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