19A043 Given a Will, is there a Way? by Jim Davies, 10/22/2019    


As recently as a couple of centuries ago, anyone who had made a little money could leave it to his or her heirs on any terms he chose, and to be confident that his will would be carried out.

Not any more; as the following, based on a true story, will show.

Jake Binney was born into a poor family in 1875 in a mid-sized city, and as a lad, learned carpentry. In his late 20s, he risked all and hung out his shingle as a house builder. Over the years he did well, producing quality work, and retired in 1946 on savings with a 2019 purchasing power of $400,000. He lived comfortably on what it yielded, so at his death in 1966 that was the size of his estate.

He left it to certain charities he favored, but only after his family had enjoyed the benefit of what it yielded; he and his wife had two daughters and his Will directed his Executor (a bank) to invest the $400K conservatively and to divide the interest yielded between their daughters and, upon their deaths, to the two grandchildren. When all four had died, the principal was to reach the charities. A pretty nice arrangement, with benefactions well spread.

Jake was a good builder, but not an economist; and he trusted government much further than he could throw it. Mistake! - one that would ruin those nice plans for his family and charities.

First, and completely outside his control, government created so much fiat "money" that after his death in 1966 the purchasing power of Jake's $400K declined by 2019 to about $53,000. Government wiped out 87% of his gift to the charities he chose, and 87% of the value of the interest yield to the last member of his family he intended to benefit. Also, it even taxed the investment yield!

Second, while the value of Jake's estate was busy being eroded, government did its usual thing of throwing its military might around the world, and created new enemies. After some decades of provocation, these enemies retaliated in 2001, and gave government an excuse to "wage war on terror" for ever. "Terror" is not something on which it's possible to wage war, but G W Bush was not known for his mastery of English grammar. One of its tactics in that bogus war has been to mess massively with privacy. Jake's family's privacy was one of its victims; the FedGov demanded who is receiving this (emasculated) money, and what are their names, addresses, SS#s, political opinions, tax statuses, etc.; and if those data were not forthcoming molto pronto, all payments would stop.

This was done not directly, but indirectly via the bank that had been acting as Jake's trusted executor. As a financial company, it existed only at the pleasure, and by the permission, of the regulators in the FedGov. So when they were told to collect data on Jake's family beneficiaries, they complied. The alternative was extinction, and so the loss of all their employees' jobs. I think they could and should have resisted vigorously, but they didn't; they folded like overboiled asparagus.

Jake's final beneficiary did resist, and refused to provide the data demanded on the grounds that his grandfather's Will did not specify that he should surrender it to that fourth party, and so that this law was retroactive and so unconstitutional; and so his pension, reduced to a pittance though it was, was terminated. The blame rests partly on Jake for foolishly trusting government - a known, violent thief - not to intervene; more on the Executor (its name is Zedra) for being such a wimp, and mostly on government, for the ruination of a perfectly good Will.

That's not at all the limit, of the devastation government can cause to your Will. In 2013 the one governing Cyprus got a bit short (as they all do) and turned that island into a verb; they grabbed some juicy deposits in the banks it has licensed, and called it "legal". Depositors had no recourse; they were screwed. Or, cyprused. When the FedGov gets even shorter than it is now, there is no known reason why it should not grab the money you have entrusted to its licensed Executor.

Is there then any remedy, to use when you, too, draw up your Will?

Nope. For as long as government persists, your wishes can, and probably will, be arbitrarily over-ruled by future acts of government. The only remedy, for this as for a thousand other evils, is its total elimination. You know how.




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