Jesse Helms wanted his family to keep the peace.
In a will filed in Wake County courts July 16, the late U.S. senator asked his children not to squabble over his estate, worried about who would get his desk and gave his congressional papers to his wife.
Helms left most of the details of the estate up to his children and two executors, grandson Charles Knox Jr. and Wake County Commissioner Paul Coble, his nephew.
"I ask that my children try to be as understanding and tolerant of each other as possible," Helms wrote, "and to make every effort to avoid disharmony among themselves."
He stipulated that if no one in his family wanted to use his Senate desk, it should be given to the Jesse Helms Center Foundation until a family member wanted it.
He also repeatedly used the term "death taxes" to refer to estate, inheritance and other related taxes.