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The Okayest Boomer

Here’s the full text of the question:

I very much enjoy your column, and you are much kinder than I am. It may be my age, but my parents weren’t expected to pay for college when I came of age. I am, yes, a baby boomer. From reading your column it seems like lots of people of varying ages seem to believe that they have rights to an inheritance, often by virtue of being a DNA relative and, sometimes, by virtue of a marriage.

I disagree with this assumption. Please educate me. Are my somewhat scornful reactions a reflection of my own age or ignorance? Or can I or anyone else write a will leaving their estate to whomever they like — say a charity, or the kid next door, or their nurse — instead of their kids and spouse? What is the law and etiquette regarding wills and inheritance?

Wow. This isn’t the only surprising question that people ask The Moneyist. A sampling:

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