Sam Cohen, father of 3 and faithful husband for over 40 years, unexpectedly drops dead one day. His lawyer informs his widow that Stu Schwartz, Sam's best friend since childhood, is to be executor of the will.
The day comes to divide Sam's earthly possessions, over a million dollars' worth. In front of Sam's family, Stu reads the will:
“Stu, if you're reading this, then I must be dead. You've were such a good friend for so long, how can I ignore you in this will? On the other hand, there are my beloved Sophie and my children to be looked after. Stu, I know you can make sure my family is taken care of properly. So Stu, give what you want to her and take the rest for yourself.”
Stu then looks at the survivors and tells them that, in accordance with Sam's instructions, Stu will give fifty thousand dollars to Sam's widow. The rest he is retaining for himself.
The family is beside itself. “This is impossible! Forty years of marriage and then *this*?! It can't be!” So the family sues.
Their day in court arrives, and after testimony from both sides, the judge gives his verdict: “To Stuart Schwartz, I award fifty thousand dollars of the contested money. The remainder shall go to Sophie Cohen, widow of the deceased.”
Needless to say, the family is elated, but Stu is dumbfound.
“Your honor, how can you do this? The will made Sam's wishes quite clear: ‘Give what you want to her and take the rest for yourself!' I wanted the lion's share! What gives?”
The judge answered back, “Mr. Schwartz, Sam Cohen knew you his whole life. He wanted to give you something in gratitude. He also wanted to see his family taken care of. So he drew up his will accordingly. But you misread his instructions. You see, Sam knew just what kind of a person you are, so with his family's interest in mind, he didn't say, ‘give what you want to her and keep the rest for yourself.' No. What Sam said was, ‘Give what YOU want to HER, and keep the rest for yourself.'”