The extant records indicate my ancestor left his farm to his wife as a life estate with the property to be split among their children at her demise. She wrote a will giving her son all “her property.” That will was denied probate as she did not have actual title to the farm.
It would be easy to create a little family drama based on the extant records. It’s wise to avoid that temptation and stick to what is in the records: his bequest to his wife prevented her from selling/transferring the property herself, it was to go to their children after her demise, and she wrote a will attempting to give the farm to one of her children.
The ancestor wanted to make certain his wife got use of the farm for the duration of her life and that his children got it afterwards. His precise motivation is lost to history. It’s possible he was concerned about her marrying someone else after
her [correction: his] death. It’s possible he was concerned about her selling the farm or giving the entire farm to one child. It’s possible that there was someone he didn’t trust to do things the way he wanted.
But what I have is what is in the records.