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Multi-millionaire Miser Spurns Family Through Estate Planning

It’s been 93 years since the death of multimillionaire Wellington R. Burt, and his estate has just recently been administered.

In an unusual effort to prevent any of his then-living relatives from receiving a portion of his estate, Burt set stipulations into his will to not distribute his fortune until 21 years after the death of his last grandchild.  This effectually prevented six children, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and eleven great-great grandchildren from attaining a portion of his millions.

Twelve lucky individuals were recently given shares of the Burt fortune, a fortune estimated at $100 million.  While many of us dream of an unknown wealthy relative leaving us a fortune upon their death, these twelve have now experienced it.

Burt was as tightfisted in life as he was in death.  Burt gave his children annual payments that were equivalent or less than those he gave to his secretary, housekeeper, chauffeur and cook.  If his children behaved in a manner with which he disagreed, they were immediately cut off financially.  Such an instance occurred when he removed a $5,000 annuity from one of his daughters because she went through a divorce.

Because of the unusual and highly complex manner of Burt’s estate plan, it took 20 attorneys working together to administer the estate.  Genealogical records had to be thoroughly researched to find the correct heirs to the fortune.  Thirty relatives applied for a piece of the estate, but only the lucky twelve were found to have a legitimate claim.

While most of us want our estate to go to our families, it is good to realize that proper estate planning can make certain your estate is administered according to your wishes – even if those wishes are unusual and take 93 years to fulfill.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexicoto apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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