Family fortune.

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    Last post ago almost 6 years by Feelin froggy
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        I can understand the purpose of not wanting to spoil the children but this seems so rare and somewhat a little too much.

        Wellington R. Burt was a rich timber baron from Saginaw, Mich.
        He died in 1919 with a multimillion-dollar fortune -- one of America's largest at the time.
        Yet rather than risk messing up his kids lives with a huge inheritance, he created an unusual will.

        He stated that his fortune would be distributed to the family -- but only 21 years after his grandchildren's death.

        His children and grandchildren weren't entirely deprived.
        Burt gave his "favorite son" $30,000 a year but the rest of his children got allowances roughly equal to those he gave his cook and chauffeur.

        "I'm pretty sure he didn't like his family back then," said Christina Cameron, an heir and a great-great-great grandchild of Burt's.

        Now that it's 21 years since the death of the last grandchild, the fortune is finally being turned over to Cameron and 11 others, including three great-grandchildren, seven great-great grandchildren and another great-great-great grandchild. The fortune is valued at more than $100 million. (She'll get a little more than $2.6 million, since those further up the family tree get more under a master agreement).

        Of course, skipping a generation is not unusual among rich parents who want to send a message to their kids (but somehow not their grandkids). Generation-skipping trusts and other estate-planning structures have been around for ages.

        But Burt's will takes kid-skipping to a new, almost punitive level.
        Who knows, maybe his kids and grand-kids were better off for the lack of inheritance, or maybe the money would have allowed them to lead fuller, happier lives.
        We'll never know. It would be interesting to compare the lives of his new heirs with those who were shut out.

        What do you think of Burt's School of Parenting?
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        It is absolutely ridiculous. He sounded like an eccentric old geezer that got his kicks out of playing games with the family fortune. I am sure the great  great grand children are whistling dixie about now.

        But more interesting then how they feel about all this now is the mayhem that must of went on to produce children to inherit this fortune. From the moment after the grandchildren's death was there a mad dash to get married or run to a fertility clinic. Or were they secretly waiting for them and hoping he/she would kick the bucket sooner then later?

        He in essence made a mockery out of his very own family. What ever possessed him to do such a thing.

        Lips
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        A very cruel way to share the wealth I think.  The great grandchildren would never have even known him and they could be anyone...murderers, rapists.

        blue
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        Well said Lips and blue and I agree.
        It is precisely how I look at it too...ridiculous but from what I have been reading about it, actually his decision has been respected and praised.
        Some people analyze it as a perfect way to educate the children of wealth.
        Wonder if that was the only his pure intention...tried to teach his children to work from the bottom but even if it was, I still think it was a cruel way to show his love.

      • Archnye

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        To leave behind a deprived family when you have the ability to change it is not love to me. I can understand trying to teach your children the value of a dollar but wouldn't you reward them at some point?

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