When Nora Ephron Inherited Money

“He was leaving his money to the four of you,” my father went on, “but I told him to cut you out of the will because you already have enough money.”
“What?” I said.
He hung up.
I looked outside at the lawn. So much for the sod.
I called Delia. “Wait till you hear this development,” I said, and told her what had happened.
“Well, we’ll just even it out,” Delia said. “We’ll each give you whatever percentage of what we inherit and that will make it fair.”
“One-fourth,” I said.
“You were always better at math,” she said. “I will call the others.”
She called the others, and called me back.
“Amy is willing,” she said. “Hallie is not.”
I couldn’t believe it. The four of us had always had an agreement that if any one of us was cut out of my father’s will the others would cut her back in. Surely that applied to Uncle Hal.

As you may have heard, the extraordinary Nora Ephron died yesterday. She wrote a very funny story for The New Yorker two years ago about the time she and her three sisters expected to inherit a ton of money from their rich uncle Hal. Ephron was working on a screenplay at the time, and she said she hoped the money would rescue her from having to finish writing it. The money she and her sisters inherited turned out not to be a life-changing amount, and she went on to finish the screenplay: When Harry Met Sally.

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