Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A long reach from beyond the grave

I'm amazed to read about a rather odd last will and testament. The Telegraph reports:

The $100 million (£60 million) fortune of an American timber and iron tycoon, which has been out of reach for the past 92 years due to the terms of his will, is finally to be divided between his descendants.

When Wellington Burt died in 1919 at the age of 87, in Saginaw, Michigan, he ordered that the majority of his fortune not be distributed until 21 years after the death of his last surviving grandchild.

The unusual arrangement has been attributed to family feuds and to the eccentricity of Mr Burt, who was once among America's 10 richest men, but no one has been able to say conclusively why he chose it.

Except for a "favourite son" who received $30,000 a year from the bequest, Mr Burt's own children received only $1,000 to $5,000 a year - sums in line with that he left his domestic staff.

The last of the surviving grandchildren, Marion Lansill, died in November 1989. This meant the 21-year term ended towards the end of last year, prompting a flurry of applications for cash from relatives.

A total of 12 heirs, aged between 19 and 94, are due to receive payouts of up to $16 million later this month. Their totals will differ depending on their proximity to Mr Burt on the family tree.

Christina Cameron, his 19-year-old great-great-great granddaughter, is in line to receive up to $2.9 million. "I'm pretty sure he didn't like his family back then," said Miss Cameron, of Kentucky.

The legacy comes too late, however, for six of Mr Burt's children, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren, who did not live long enough or were ineligible.

There's more at the link.

"Didn't like his family"? No s***, Sherlock! That's one hell of a way to get your revenge from the grave!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess my father was talking to this guy also. I got zero after my father died, no that is not correct, I received all his debt. All that was left after it was all paid off was $200.00, taxed at 55 per cent by the government and state. Sure helped out the grand children, he did. hope its hot dad.