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Posted at 7:05 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Update: Elizabeth Edwards leaves everything to children in will; no mention of John Edwards

By The Reliable Source






(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images) More Elizabeth Edwards photos.

John Edwards gets no mention in the will of Elizabeth Edwards, released Wednesday and published online by "Inside Edition." In the document -- signed Dec. 1, just six days before she died -- she named her daughter, Cate, as executor of her estate, and left everything to her and her two younger children, Jack and Emma Claire.

By The Reliable Source  | January 5, 2011; 7:05 PM ET
Categories:  Update  
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Comments

It is my understanding that when she died, she and her husband were still married which means most of their assets were still held jointly. This will is not a big deal.

Posted by: nomorewholefoods | January 5, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Virginia not being a community property state, he probably can claim not more than 33-50% unless he has already given his consent to fore go. I am not a lawyer so this just a guess. However the bigger hit to John Edwards is that Elizabeth did not even mention him in the Will. Ouch!

Posted by: chitralcheetah | January 5, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

If his Wife didn't believe in him, how did the democrats almost elect him vice-president? Democrats aren't too bright, are they?

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | January 5, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

They were still married at the time of her death. However, you can be married to a person and absolutely have property/assets titled separately.

Posted by: jiji1 | January 5, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Also, a correction to the poster above - she resided and died in North Carolina.

Posted by: NoVa6 | January 5, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah. The notion of gender equality in America is again proven to be a pathetic, nauseating sham. Marital assets can be titled separately at death? Yeah, except for men; the courts have consistently not allowed a man to write their wives out of the will no matter how big of a cheating, abusive, duplicitous wench she might have been. The lesson? Men should stay single, get rich, live alone, and adopt a puppy - much better companionship. Let her eat cake.

Posted by: techresmgt | January 5, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats probably recognized that a man's marriage and sexual life have less to do with his ability to govern successfully than, say, having an intellect, a grasp of complex issues and a desire to help the quality of our environment and the disadvantaged, especially as regards providing health care for children.

I suspect that Edwards was able to name a few Supreme Court decisions, discuss American exceptionalism or locate Russia on a map.

Posted by: frank3373 | January 5, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

The Honorable Mr. Edwards is a multi- multi- millionaire. Does anyone think he would try to take any of his wife's property? He's dumb, but not that dumb.

Posted by: gene9 | January 5, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: COOLCHILLY
If his Wife didn't believe in him, how did the democrats almost elect him vice-president? Democrats aren't too bright, are they?
-------------------
The difference between democrats and republicans is that once we democrats found out that Edwards was a cheat we dumped his sorry butt; on the other hand, the republicans are still embracing Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and a whole bunch of two-faced bozos.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | January 5, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

coolchilly: what does adultery have do with political ideology or ability to do a great job as president? this kind of foolishness keeps the country focusing on scandal rather than real issues. boo to you

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 5, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

To the misinformed idiot spewing incorrectly about gender and probate law: NC law on this issue -- as everywhere else -- is gender neutral. Edwards can dissent from the will, but I imagine he won't. This was probably worked out between the two of them before she died. If not, he could look pretty tacky going after the kids for a share of the assets. Then again, the kids could decide on their own to gift him some of the estate.

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 5, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

sooo...? and this is news why?...
may the lady rest in peace and leave those kids alone.

Posted by: jborst | January 5, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Who cares?

Seriously, WaPo. Who cares?

Posted by: asdf2 | January 6, 2011 12:41 AM | Report abuse

When I finished reading the story I said to myself, "O well she left him nothing so what? but reading reading some of your comment's I said to myself" Their are some Hatful people out their, they are picking at who got what and did not get and so forth, stop picking your time will come and people will be doing the same thing to you ,Wish the Family Well, Let them live.

Posted by: onesugar1 | January 6, 2011 1:20 AM | Report abuse

The will leaves personal possessions like furniture, household goods, jewelry etc and her cars to her children and leaves everything else to her revocable trust with her daughter being the trustee of that trust. It also says that everything else is to be added to whatever is already in the revocable trust. So we don't know what is in the trust and who the beneficiaries are and who gets what. Revocable trust usually have major assets in them like real estate, investment accounts and bank account assets. She probably already has set up trusts for her minor children. Also some assets may pass to beneficiaries outside of the will if the assets have named beneficiaries. This is common with life insurance, IRAs etc. So the will only reveals what part of her assets are.

Posted by: kafranklin | January 6, 2011 1:30 AM | Report abuse

techresmgt, good idea on your part to stay single. Means we get more cake.

Posted by: nomorewholefoods | January 6, 2011 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Maybe there's no connection between being a vain, superficial person without integrity and being a good president but it flies in the face of everything I've ever learned about human nature.

On the other hand those are perfect attributes for a tort lawyer.

Posted by: politbureau | January 6, 2011 4:02 AM | Report abuse

If his Wife didn't believe in him, how did the democrats almost elect him vice-president? Democrats aren't too bright, are they?

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | January 5, 2011 8:33 PM

This from someone who elected an utter moron like George Bush, a certifiable nut case like Michelle Bachman and who gets his info from the overweight, drug addicted draft dodger's radio show.

Posted by: roscym1 | January 6, 2011 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Why should she mention him?

And, what does the family life have to do with the political life? Being a good leader has nothing to do with his family life.

Posted by: Channah | January 6, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

OK.... (non-North Carolina) estate planning attorney logging in here -- given the couple's wealth, I would expect that at least one of several options would have been addressed quite some time ago. I hope a North Carolina estate planning lawyer will chime in.

First, remember that while Elizabeth Edwards might have had assets in her own name (book royalties come to mind), John Edwards doesn't NEED the money. He has substantial wealth from his own earnings, so that an inheritance from Elizabeth might be better used to fund investments for the children. Second, they may well have moved a significant amount of assets to various types of trusts during their lifetimes, none of which need to be mentioned in the will itself. Third, as several other folks noted, jointly owned assets are not mentioned in wills. Last, given the state of the marriage, the couple might have entered into an post-marital agreement without going through a divorce in which the parties agreed about how to divide up assets in the event of death.

Posted by: SGfromMudville | January 6, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I think her not mention John is a really big deal given they had minor children. Ms. Edwards named her daughter, not her estranged husband, the guardian of the kids. Ouch, if you ask me.

Ms. Edwards seemed like a really brave lady. It's a shame her husband sullied their union; an affair is one thing, having a baby with an obvious trollop AND lying about it and putting the baby on some other guy IS ABHORRENT. John Edwards is the one who should have died of cancer!

Posted by: shelley514 | January 6, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

John Edward is a hiss and a byword and not much more.

Posted by: richard36 | January 6, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Good grief, people, unless you read the trust, you don't know much about how she distributed her estate. Also, there would have been some property division at the time of the divorce. This is really a non-story. The yellow press is alive and well.

Posted by: clarkesq | January 6, 2011 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm not aware that there was a divorce, and I don't know whether North Carolina recognizes legal separation (which doesn't exist in my state). In any case, where there is an adult daughter who happens to be a Harvard Law grad and naming a father who was cut out of the will as executor would have created potential conflict of interest, the set-up really doesn't shock me.

Posted by: SGfromMudville | January 6, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Shelley514 - According to the article, Mrs. Edwards named Cate the executor of her will, not guardian to her children. Since Mr. Edwards is alive and well, she could not will away the children's guardianship without his consent.

Posted by: jschafin2 | January 6, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Man, is nothing sacred? The voyeuristic mind of the American people never ceases to amaze me. This piece is tantamount to gossip and should be posted in the Gossip category! It's pieces like this that makes me happy that I am not a public figure. I would hate to have my will revealed to the public after I check out of here!

Posted by: ruthella10 | January 6, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"The Democrats probably recognized that a man's marriage and sexual life have less to do with his ability to govern successfully than, say, having an intellect, a grasp of complex issues and a desire to help the quality of our environment and the disadvantaged, especially as regards providing health care for children.

I suspect that Edwards was able to name a few Supreme Court decisions, discuss American exceptionalism or locate Russia on a map."

Really? Then why did you elect a President who thinks America has 57 states, or pronounces "Navy Corpsman" as "Corpse-man"?

Newsflash: when your Presidential candidate cheats on his cancer-striken wife and is chased through hotel lobbies by fleets of Enquirer reporters following his sordid trysts, it is time to come down off your high horse.

Posted by: zippyspeed | January 6, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe that po Elizabeth had much to leave. Didn't he's so pretty Johnny Boy do all the sleazy lawyering to make their mega millions?

Why do we care about these ridiculous people anyway? She's dead, he's gone, say goodbye.

Posted by: bandmom22 | January 6, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

The only problem I see with this will is sloppy execution by the parties involved (the notary initialed the date change above the testatrix's signature instead of Elizabeth Edwards).

Leaving her estranged husband out is hardly surprising.

Posted by: sshopper | January 6, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

This is Elizabeth Edwards' private business, but who could blame her?!

Posted by: 10bestfan | January 6, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Who cares?

Posted by: jdonner2 | January 6, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Transfer On Death is how to beet the legal crooks trying to steal what is yours an family. TOD its been around fro eons!

Posted by: JWTX | January 6, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

More BS from an someone who is too chicken to put their name on it.

Why is this supposed to be news?

Posted by: ddoiron1 | January 6, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

FOLK's Do you really think Mr. Edwards really cares if his deceased wife mentioned his name in her will? He's alive.

Posted by: B_BOI_STANCE | January 6, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Does Elizabeth will trump John's parental right when it comes to custody of the minor children? She appointed Cate as the guardian of her minor children, but John is still alive.

Posted by: mqpham | January 6, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

coolchilly: Congrats on writing the most childish post I've seen in a while, winning against intense competition from hardline Repubs and hardline Dems.

Posted by: newageblues | January 6, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I thought her legal residence was in the of of the Carolinas not Virginia.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | January 6, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I thought her legal residence was in one of the Carolinas not Virginia.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | January 6, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

REST IN PEACE ELIZABETH, YOU DID YOUR BEST TO PROTECT YOUR KIDS!

Posted by: Tomasa | January 6, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who doesn't understand why adultery is important viz. a person's election to public office is either ignorant or of questionable character. Adultery is a breach of trust with the person most important to the adulterer (i.e., the spouse). If a politician (or candidate) can do that to someone they (used to) love, imagine what that person is capable of when making decisions affecting the rest of us who are nothing more than faceless voters? If they can't honor a personal moral contract, how can they be expected to honor a public contract with US citizens? They can't, because Edwards and others like him - whether Dems, Repubs, or Indies - would sell us out in a nanosecond if it benefited them somehow to do so. Their selfishness overrides good judgment.

So what if Edwards can recite SCOTUS opinions? He also has great hair. But being intelligent or good looking or glib does not necessarily mean good character, which is the most important trait by far. Too many politicians have great personalities and poor character. Without exception, such persons are vacuous boors who can't be trusted to govern.

Posted by: wrigleywrat | January 6, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I agree this is only a story because of the cancer and mistress!!! My first thought when I read the headline was "I thought John was rich as a lawyer anyway so what she had to give she did...2 GORGEOUS CHILDREN!"

They were still married so she got a great deal when they separated. See I always knew Lizzy knew more than she was telling while using cancer/mistress to sell her book because I would have DIVORCED the selfsih bum!!!! Plenty of GREAT kids are raised by single parents HOLLA!

Posted by: MDlady2 | January 6, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"If his Wife didn't believe in him, how did the democrats almost elect him vice-president? Democrats aren't too bright, are they?"

Perhaps Republicans are psychics, but Democrats aren't.

Posted by: jleatherhead | January 6, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Rudy Giuliani, New Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh have ten marriages between them. The first two also ran for President. The GOP have no claim on sainthood. John Edwards is persona non grata in the Democratic Party. David Vitter got reelected.

Posted by: lastmogul | January 6, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

coolchilly: what does adultery have do with political ideology or ability to do a great job as president? this kind of foolishness keeps the country focusing on scandal rather than real issues. boo to you

Posted by: darrren12000 | January 5, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse
===========

If a spouse (male or female) cheats during the marriage, they cheat elsewhere as well.

A lie, is a lie, is a lie. A liar and cheat is a thief - they steal trust.

When a person can't be trusted, that carries over into all aspects of their life.

Posted by: asmith1 | January 6, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

As usual folks get on and start with their silly, hateful opinions on things that have nothing at all to do with them. Why on earth would she leave anything to John, just why? and furthermore why do you care? Had she left him anything there would be tons of comments. Mind your business - try that for a change. Particuarly you "foolsilly" oh I am sorry "coolchilly" how totally stupid.

Posted by: wisewunn | January 6, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

As usual folks get on and start with their silly, hateful opinions on things that have nothing at all to do with them. Why on earth would she leave anything to John, just why? and furthermore why do you care? Had she left him anything there would be tons of comments. Mind your business - try that for a change. Particuarly you "foolsilly" oh I am sorry "coolchilly" how totally stupid.

Posted by: wisewunn | January 6, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

As usual folks get on and start with their silly, hateful opinions on things that have nothing at all to do with them. Why on earth would she leave anything to John, just why? and furthermore why do you care? Had she left him anything there would be tons of comments. Mind your business - try that for a change. Particuarly you "foolsilly" oh I am sorry "coolchilly" how totally stupid.

Posted by: wisewunn | January 6, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

You ROCK, Elizabeth, R.I.P.

Oh - oh, and people who don't act with integrity in their personal/ family lives seldom act with integrity in their professional/ political lives. I hope that weasel never gets elected to anything.

Posted by: Ynot1 | January 6, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Since her husband was rich on his own, and also has more sources of income, there was no need to list him. Listing her children makes since, because it protects them against their father's whims, and from dividing their take with any children the father has or may father in the future on the bimbo of the moment.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | January 6, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

If John Edwards was going to skank around, why did he skank around with a skank? That's what I don't get.

Posted by: devilsadvocate2 | January 6, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I though that the integrity of the Obama nuclear family sat better with voters than McCain kicking his wife to the curb after her car wreck. Plus they tried to make McCain too slick, when his angry, yet self-effacing personality was his strength.

Posted by: pptcmember | January 6, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

As the Bible says, "Let the ignorant remain silent." -KJV
Not mentioning and leaving a close relative completely out of your will is a big open door to it being challenged. It goes back to English Common law, and every genealogist knows it.
-VA

Posted by: swvawired | January 6, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Would it be too difficult to conceive that Elizabeth and John agreed that this was the safest way to protect her assets?

Posted by: merrill1 | January 6, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

coolchilly: what does adultery have do with political ideology or ability to do a great job as president? this kind of foolishness keeps the country focusing on scandal rather than real issues. boo to you

========

If he cheats on the person he swore before God to be faithful to, what makes you think he'd do anything else to total strangers?

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | January 6, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Elizabeth Edwards' will only mentions personal property: furniture, clothes, books, papers, a possible car and so on. It leaves them to her children. The will does not mention real property, money, stocks, bank accounts, the copyrights to her books or any other assets. She was a lawyer and clearly other provisions were made for the inheritance of her wealth, either through a revocable trust, jointly held assets, Totten trusts, intervivos trusts for her children or other ownership instruments, plus maybe a post-nuptial or separation agreement with her husband that provided for distribution of her property at her death. Given the status of the Edwards' marriage, it is natural that she would want her personal effects to go to her children solely and not to her husband for possible gifting to his next girlfriend or wife. She was wise to cover that detail.

Posted by: cassandra9 | January 6, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Too bad that news reporters cannot cover more important stories. I look at it this way. John is a grown man and can make is own money. Her children are young and needed to be provided for. It is also likely that the children would want to have their mother's things and would cherish them.

Let these people live in peace and privacy.

Posted by: skramsv | January 6, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

While interesting to read - let Elizabeth and her family have some peace...

Posted by: onthejourney | January 6, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

John Edwards is a lowlife scumbag, who shouldn't get anything from his wife.
He cheated on Elizabeth while she was underdoing cancer treatments. He had a kid with the sleazy girlfriend.

I commend Elizabeth for her final 'slap' at John Edwards. I wouldn't have left him anything, either. Let his new girlfriend support him now.

Posted by: momof20yo | January 6, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The reason this story is garnering attention is for the sole purpose of giving the late Elizabeth Edwards and her sisterhood some measure of victory over John Edwards. John made a decision to break his marital vows which makes him an adulterer. Nothing more nothing less. This story does not anoint Elizabeth as a saint, but to the contrary. Her bitter and spiteful last conviction sullied her public image. Her supposedly warm compassionate heart turned cold and heartless. She should have taken the high road by showing her husband of 33 years that their union did produce many fond memories and beautiful children. That would have haunted him for life. Instead she made it her crusade to try and demonize this man before their children because of her selfish vengeance. Speaking from the grave her will marred her legacy. Rest in peace...

Posted by: hritewing | January 6, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

What an evil and vengeful woman. It's a good thing she is dead. We will not miss her.

Posted by: fudador | January 6, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

COOLCHILLY - If you want to know the difference between Democrats and Republicans I have 2 last names for you. Sanford, Spitzer.

Posted by: eramesan | January 6, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

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