Orange County Probate and Estate Planning Blog

Colorful Goodbyes

Posted by Mary G. Finlay | Nov 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Many people view their last will and testament as a final opportunity to make a statement to the world about who they are and who and what they care about. Some of the most notorious devisees immediately come to mind.

Leona Helmsley aka the “Queen of Mean”: The infamous tax felon left 12 million dollars to her Maltese “Trouble” while two of her grandchildren received the big goose egg. The other two grandchildren each received 5 million but only on condition that they visit their father's grave once a year. And yes, they had to prove they visited by signing in.

Anne Hathaway aka Mrs. William Shakespeare: William left the bulk of his fortune to his daughter, Susanna, with his wife receiving his “second best bed”. One has to wonder what the “second best bed” looked like in 1676.

Henrich “Henry” Heine a German poet: Henry left his entire estate to his wife, Matilda, on condition that she marry again so that “there will be at least one man to regret [Henry's] death”.

One can question the wisdom of making such bitter exits. However, at least these three famous folks did some type of planning. If you don't express your final wishes in a will and/or a trust, then the government will step in and make the plan for you via the laws of intestacy. And, as is the case with most government work, the plan will likely not reflect what you would have wanted for your loved ones. If you plan well, your final statement to the world will be that you care enough about your loved ones to plan for them after you are gone. Perhaps this message is not as memorable as those described above, but most of us are okay with just being remembered as a loving and thoughtful person.

Contact the Finlay Law Group today to get that plan in place.

About the Author

Mary G. Finlay

Orange County Estate Planning Lawyer When I was in law school, all my friends and family were so supportive and proud of me. Once I graduated from law school and passed the bar, however, I suddenly became a member of one of the most loathed professions in the world. Everyone clamored to tell me ...


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