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We are three brothers - myself, Roger and Cedric. Our dear aunt Sally died in her sleep last week. She left a will stating that all her belongings are to be given over to Cedric, my brother. He was the only one mentioned in the will.
She loved us all equally and there was no apparent reason why she did not include us in the will. I can vouch for the fact that Cedric did not coerce or influence her in any way whatsoever. Neither did anyone else, for that matter...
We, myself and Roger, are not at all surprised and are not bitter - even though, should Cedric decide to, he may keep the considerable inheritance for himself. That's life...
We thought that this may sound perplexing to you folks so here's the question: Why did Aunt Sally mention only Cedric in her will?

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closed as too broad by A E, Engineer Toast, Deusovi, Aza May 16 '16 at 19:48

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ at risk of shooting myself in the foot: quite frankly I'm surprised the 'too broad beasties' are not jumping down the throat of this one... :-) :-) $\endgroup$ – Ben May 16 '16 at 10:24
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    $\begingroup$ Does seem broad. There are seemingly many answers that meet these requirements. Is there any clue in the question that should make it obvious if we get the "right" answer. $\endgroup$ – user21939 May 16 '16 at 10:39
  • $\begingroup$ @dan1111 Nope. Just thought that the accepted answer (i was looking for that one) is so simple and kick-yourself obvious once you know it. All the others are convoluted or out-the-box (which doesn't make them wrong...I know) but this one could commonly happen $\endgroup$ – Ben May 16 '16 at 16:00

13 Answers 13

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Obviously

Cedric is your oldest brother. Right when he was born, she changed her will, such that the money doesn't go to your parents. Then Roger and you were born, but she never had the chance to change it again.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand. Why would she never have a chance to change it? Is it so difficult to change? $\endgroup$ – Revetahw May 16 '16 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Fiksdal You can forget these kind of things. $\endgroup$ – Bernhard May 16 '16 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ I honestly don't see how the question could lead to this answer. It is nowhere stated that Aunt Sally hates the parents of the three sons, and I don't get why she hasn't had the opportunity to change her will. $\endgroup$ – Nico May 16 '16 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Fiksdal Things that are important, but not urgent. I will do this later, and then in the end, you are too late. $\endgroup$ – Bernhard May 16 '16 at 14:18
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    $\begingroup$ How does this line "and are not bitter" fit?. I would be bitter if I was excluded just because she forgot. $\endgroup$ – Zibelas May 16 '16 at 15:57
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Possibly

because you are Siamese triplets

Or maybe

You are identical triplets and poor aunt Sally never knew that there was more than one of you...

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  • $\begingroup$ I immediately thought this. Glad I'm not the only one with a twisted mind... $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman May 16 '16 at 15:41
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Her only possession was:

a very valuable parrot. Aunt Sally did not want the animal sold for the proceeds, instead she wanted him to be cared for by a single family member.

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    $\begingroup$ Any possession with this property could work. And there could be myriad reasons why Cedric was the one to receive it. $\endgroup$ – user21939 May 16 '16 at 10:44
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Was "Cedric, my brother" an exact quote from the will or just you clarifying the Cedric? If it was a quote, then

I assume Cedric, Sally's brother, is your father and the inheritance was left to him rather than to your brother (Cedric Jr., named after your father). Alternatively, Cedric is just an uncle of yours and Sally liked his branch of the family more.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice twisty thinking but the question begins 'we are three brothers...' (...unless you want to say that we are 3 brothers - just not with each other :-p) $\endgroup$ – Ben May 16 '16 at 9:45
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    $\begingroup$ I was thinking that the Cedric that's your brother was named after your father, the Cedric that's Sally's brother (so Cedric Sr. and Cedric Jr.). I'll edit my answer a bit. $\endgroup$ – Withad May 16 '16 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ @ben Technically, the question only establishes that they're all brothers, not that they're brothers to each other. But yeah - too twisty for my tastes. $\endgroup$ – James Beninger May 16 '16 at 14:34
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Were you and Roger

the witnesses to the will? This would actively exclude both of you from being named as beneficiaries, leaving Cedric as the sole inheritor.

Another (unlikely) option:

You and Roger are the sons of Sally's sister. After she died, tragically young, your father married Sally. Your aunt/step-mother had a son, making Cedric your half-brother. As Sally's only child, Cedric naturally stood in line to inherit everything. You and Roger are abnormally relaxed about all of this.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good thinking - but methinks that they would be daft to do that and willingly miss out on the goods.... they would have at least made a separate arrangement with Cedric to share afterwards... $\endgroup$ – Ben May 16 '16 at 9:43
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Had you and Roger

already gotten an advance on the inheritance? Such that you and Roger already had your shares.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nope - sorry, should've precluded that in the question.. Nice catch $\endgroup$ – Ben May 16 '16 at 9:56
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Perhaps a bit of a stretch, but are you and Roger:

Dead?

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    $\begingroup$ yes! we are dead! ...here I am sitting on my cloud (it reclines - how cool is that?), halo on sideways, electric harp strung across my back, having nothing better to do than to post riddles on the web using my super-holy apple mac (obviously no windows up here) :-) :-) $\endgroup$ – Ben May 16 '16 at 9:55
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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't that be an "apparent reason" to be excluded from the will? :) $\endgroup$ – user21939 May 16 '16 at 9:59
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My guess is

Cedric was married to Aunt Sally's Daughter.

This is legal is many countries.

i.e marriage between cousins. Either Aunt Sally's daughter, Cedric's wife, has already passed away or it is tradition or part of a patriarchal society where the men inherit the estates. This was fairly common between royalty in the middle ages.

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    $\begingroup$ There wouldn't even have to be anything remotely incestuous or scandalous if Sally became your aunt when she was a widow, having earlier borne the woman who would become Cedric's wife. Neither she nor Cedric would have any blood relation by any path unless/until her daughter and Cedric have a child together. I was going to suggest a different solution with Cedric being a half-sibling, but I like yours better. $\endgroup$ – supercat May 16 '16 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. In fact, you got me thinking; It could be that Aunt Sally's daughter is step-daughter to the our Uncle by blood. i.e. Sally remarried one of our parents' brother. $\endgroup$ – josh May 17 '16 at 9:29
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Maybe

Cedric is a notary, and he is only mentioned in the will because she used his services to enforce it, and pass the money over to her heirs. Cedric could decide to keep the money - but he would break the law doing so!

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  • $\begingroup$ The question states the will left everything to Cedric. $\endgroup$ – user21939 May 16 '16 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ Sure but it could be just like "transfer the money to his notarial services". Anyway... it's a stretch for sure. $\endgroup$ – Maxim May 16 '16 at 10:22
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there are many possibilities:

aunt Sally had a ton of debts, approximately in the same amount she is leaving behind, so it does not matter much who inherits it.

or:

Cedric is terminally ill, She left everything to him so he can enjoy the time he has left.

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She

is suffering from dementia and when she tried to wrote her will she can't remember you anymore. Only your oldest brother Cedric which she knows for the longest time was still in her mind. You don't blame her because you know of her disease.

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Maybe

She died whilst she was writing her will and only wrote your brother's name.

EDIT
The will wouldn't be valid if it was like this?
"Everything that I own, I give to Cedrid"

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  • $\begingroup$ surely the will would not be valid if incomplete... $\endgroup$ – Ben May 16 '16 at 10:03
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    $\begingroup$ with no signature?? usually you sign at the end when ething is complete... $\endgroup$ – Ben May 16 '16 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ "Ok, I'll just sign it first to get that out of the way. Now I'll go ahead and write the text..." $\endgroup$ – user21939 May 16 '16 at 10:32
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Aunt Sally was Cedric's mother but not yours even though you are all three brothers, being the sons of the same father. After you and Roger's mother died, your father married her sister whom you knew as Aunt Sally.

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  • $\begingroup$ same as LogicianWithAHat above... $\endgroup$ – Ben May 16 '16 at 18:10

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