Welcome to Absurd Estate Planning. A category I had to create just to hold stories like this one.
Making the estate planning news recently is the inheritance by Conchita the Chihuahua of a $3 Million dollar trust fund and a $8.3 Million dollar mansion in Miami Beach. You can read the full text from the Wall Street Journal here, but the WSJ starts out:
Her name is Conchita, a thin, spa-loving, diamond-draped heiress, and she’s at the center of one of America’s nastiest estate battles.
She is also a dog—a chihuahua who was the favorite of the late Miami heiress Gail Posner, a daughter of the corporate takeover artist Victor Posner.
Here’s a picture of Conchita. She’s on the left.
(I’m not sure that’s Conchita’s real hair.)
How do I know this? Because this decedent, Gail Posner, left $26 Million to seven of her bodyguards, housekeepers, and aides, along with the inheritance to Conchita, under a Will – which is quite public so everybody knows about it. It’s also now the subject of a challenge by Gail Posner’s only living child (of the two-legged variety), who is alleging undue influence by the beneficiaries of the Will.
There are a couple lessons here about “undue influence” and the privacy benefits of not leaving millions of dollars to a non-human via a Will – but honestly, I can’t stop chuckling long enough to go into detail about it. I’m not sure my clients, current or future, would ever find relevance in the story of Conchita the Chihuahua. Suffice it to say that even the rich, famous, and loony can’t get it right. For the record, when it comes time to depart this Earth, I will not be leaving any non-human my cherished iPhone XG-5000.
Not to discriminate against the cold-blooded, Posner also provided for the care of her….turtles.
Moral of the story: When you make your own estate plan, don’t put your head into your shell….or any other orifice, for that matter.
Posted by Victor Medina, Medina Law Group, LLC
Photos by The Daily Beast, and courtesy of Flikr user whitepebbles and the CC license.