Lucky Beneficiaries Receive $100 Million

We all dream of that telephone call.  The one in which a lawyer calls you to inform you that a rich long-lost relative died and left you with millions.

When Wellington R. Burt died at 87 years old in Saginaw in March of 1919, he was one of the eight richest persons in the country having amassed his fortune as a lumber baron.  Apparently, not happy with his immediate family, he hand wrote a bizarre estate plan that avoided most of his money from being distributed to his children and grandchildren.  In fact, the bulk of his estate was to be distributed 21 years after the death of the last grandchild.

Incredibly, almost 92 years later, some distant relatives became instant multi-millionaires.  The 12 beneficiaries ranged in age from 19 to 94 years old.  They received a benefit that six children, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren did not.  Those family members were either disinherited from receiving a large inheritance, or died in the 92 year waiting period before an agreement was finally reached.

This story underscores the relevance of an appropriately drafted estate plan.  If you would like assistance in drafting an estate plan, please contact The Probate Pro.  We will happily disinherit any family member!