Monday, January 12, 2009

"end of the world" provisions

This estate planning practice guide I'm reading uses the phrase "end of the world" provisions to denote a provision that provides for the passage of property if everybody dies in a really unusual order. This practice note may really be objectively funny, or it may only be so if you, too, are sitting at your desk reading something as exciting as a legal practice guide:
Practice Note Clients' reactions to these provision vary widely. A client may refuse even to contemplate the situation. Alternatively, the client may become somewhat obsessed with the prospect and greatly complicate the preparation of a simple estate plan by adding dozens of charities or other beneficiaries to accommodate a highly unlikely situation. A practitioner may wish to broach this uncomfortable subject with clients by using humor, asking them, for example, to describe to whom they would like to distribute their estates if their Thanksgiving turkey explodes and simultaneously eliminates their entire family and their closest friends.

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