Estate planning can be a serious business. After all, the future of your family depends upon it. However, there can be a lighter side to the process as well. People have been making out wills and trusts for thousands of years, and it only stands to reason that estate planning has a long and interesting history. Here are a few fun estate planning facts to keep in mind when the process starts to seem a little bit heavy:
1. Estate Planning Goes Back a Long Ways. Wills have been around a long time, but most people don’t realize exactly how long. In fact, as far as historians have determined, the first testament dates back to 1800 BC when a pair of Egyptian brothers wrote out a document in hieroglyphics which dictated the division of their property and other important matters. The first power of attorney doesn’t date back quite so far, but it can be traced to 651 BC in Ancient Mesopotamia.
2. A Number of Famous People Have Died Intestate. While many people unfortunately die intestate, it’s especially surprising when this happens to the rich and famous. After all, they have far more to lose by not setting up wills and trusts than do the rest of us. Nonetheless, the list of famous people who’ve died intestate includes Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Pablo Picasso, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, and even Abraham Lincoln!
3. A Chicken Once Received a $15 Million Inheritance. More and more people are setting up trusts for their pets, ensuring that their furry or even feathered friends are provided for should they pass on. Still, most people don’t take it to the extreme of one couple. The Blackwells of England got rich publishing textbooks and when the couple died in 2001 of separate illnesses, it was revealed that they had left their prize chicken $15 million in cash! No word what Gigoo, as the bird was called, did with the dough.
With these estate planning facts in mind, hopefully you’ve been able to find the fun in the process. When it comes to wills and trusts, there’s a long history of best practices to draw on and, at Deliberato Law Center, we’re here to help you develop the best possible plan.
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If you have any questions about the venerable practice or want to get started protecting your family’s future, do not hesitate to contact us by calling (216) 341-3413 or filling out the contact form below.