Local News

Elizabeth Edwards leaves everything to children

Posted January 5, 2011
Updated January 7, 2011

— In her will, Elizabeth Edwards left everything to her three children and nothing to her estranged husband, former U.S. senator John Edwards, according to the document released on Wednesday.

The will, which was first obtained by TV show Inside Edition, was signed Dec. 1 – six days before she died after a six-year battle with cancer.

The couple’s eldest daughter, Cate Edwards, was named executrix of the will.

Her estate is valued at almost $1.5 million, according to probate records in Orange County.

Former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards was not mentioned in the will. The couple separated a year ago after he admitted to fathering a child in an extramarital affair.

Elizabeth Edwards also stipulated that, if she were the only surviving parent of her minor children, Emma Claire and Jack, at her time of death, she wanted 28-year-old Cate Edwards to be their guardian.

The probate records indicate that John Edwards is caring for the two children.

Edwards' death certificate, which was also released on Wednesday, listed her cause of death as metastatic breast cancer, Inside Edition reported.


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  • simracer68 Jan 6, 2011

    "If they were only seperated he would have a legal right to the property, as they had not be apart for a year which is required under NC law. A good NC law friend will get him all the property back."

    That was my thought too. Apparently, they were seperated and not divorced. As such, with NC being a No-Fault, Community Property state, John would be able to get "his half" of whatever she "left" to the kids if he wanted to push it - unless he waived his rights to it prior to her death. Which was something that was not addressed, only the "feel good" part of the story has been published so we may never actually know the disposition of her half of their net worth.

  • hunt36 Jan 6, 2011

    I don't see why it is anyones business what she left to who and who gets what and do not see why it was even in the news. LET THE POOR WOMAN REST IN PEACE AND STOP AIRING HER LAUNDRY. THIS IS PITIFUL PEOPLE SOMEONE HAS TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING BUT THIS IS TOO MUCH!!

  • unipride Jan 6, 2011

    1. this shouldn't be news
    2. if you actually read the will it states that the property can go to the person that the minor kids LIVE with - ie John Edwards.

  • cad Jan 6, 2011

    I can see why she left everything to her children. John's legal issues, the other women in his lives or other children out of wedlock would not get one penny of her money!

  • hcain73 Jan 6, 2011

    Imagine that. They were divorced.....

  • mpheels Jan 6, 2011

    Just to clarify - the Edwards were legally separated, but Elizabeth publicly stated that neither one planned to file for or finalize a divorce unless one of them decided to remarry. None of us know what agreements John and Elizabeth reached before her death, but I seriously doubt that John would leave the children out in the cold.

  • RM24 Jan 6, 2011

    Even if they were happily married and had no problems I would still think this would be the case. Either way is this really a headline news story? Who really cares. If your not in the family its none of your business and if you are in the family I am sure you wish that people would just leave them alone.

  • happy Jan 6, 2011

    Sherlock - she was a lawyer...pretty sure she knew what she was doing. He doesn't have the right to her property if she left it to the kids.

  • RomneyRyan2012 Jan 6, 2011

    WAY TO GO ELIZABETH. Even if he manages to get his hands on it somehow, you went out with a final slap in his face. In your way you got the last laugh. I love it!!!!!!!

  • KTK Jan 6, 2011

    This is not nearly as dramatic of a story as the article would lead you to believe. From the will, it's clear that Elizabeth Edwards, like many wealthy folks, had a trust, which is not probated and is not public record. It's likely that most of her assets were held by her trust, and the will only exists to capture personal effects and give to her children (which wouldn't normally be within a trust) and to state that the residuary of her estate (anything else not owned by the trust) goes into the trust of which Cate appears to be a trustee. Whether John Edwards is mentioned in that trust or how the property is really distributed under the trust will not be public record--for good reason. WRAL--How about doing some legal research before publishing an article like this and trying to create news where there isn't any?