Last night my husband and I watched a movie called Bonneyville starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen.
It is the story of a recently widowed woman who sets out in her late husband’s ’66 Bonneville Convertible’ with her two best friends to deliver her husband ashes to her stepdaughter. On the drive from Pocatello, Idaho to Santa Barbara California, certain events happen that encourage the widow to fulfill her husband’s wishes for his final remains instead of his daughter’s careful carrying out of his long out-dated written wishes.
This is a fun movie but one that has a very real message about what to do when someone you love dies.
This movie is fun, but it really highlights what can happen when a person doesn’t get around to writing out a current will when their life circumstances change. It took my second husband and I quite a few years to take ourselves to a lawyer and put our new wishes into legal and signed print. And when we did it was painless!
In the movie, the now deceased husband, had remarried after the death of his first wife. He had moved states and he had 20 years of blissful marriage before he unexpectedly died. His daughter inherited the house and his remains. In real life, at least in Canada, the wife would be able to contest the will and get at least half of the house’s appraised value. For the movie of course, she just lost everything. When a person is grieving (or anytime for that matter), going through a lawsuit is not something that should have to happen. The daughter, in this movie, and in many situations in real life, resented the second wife. She didn’t have any compassion for the woman and didn’t try to make it easy.
If you or your spouse haven’t updated your will lately, I suggest that you watch this light and humorous movie and then make an appointment with your lawyer. To be trite, you never know when one of you is going to get hit by a bus and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
July 2, 2009 Updated November 7, 2020 by Laurie Mueller