Estate Planning Mistake: Survivors Get the Last Laugh

Grandma tried her best to take her money with her

Estate Planning Mistake: Survivors Get the Last Laugh

Want to make sure certain members of your family don’t receive any of your money or other assets after you’re gone?

If so, don’t try what an 85-year-old grandmother in Austria did. Realizing that her savings would go to children and other relatives she apparently didn’t like, she shredded all her money. Police found the equivalent of $1.1 million in currency on her deathbed — all of it cut into pieces.

Her children learned that they could give the damaged currency to the government and get new currency in return. (The U.S. government provides the same service — keep it in mind the next time you find a destroyed bill in the laundry. You must have more than 50% of a damaged bill to exchange it for a new one.)

The lesson here? If you really want to disinherit children or other relatives, engage in proper estate planning. We can help you do that.

Originally published in Inside Personal Finance May 2016

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