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• John B Whalen Jr • Wayne Pa • Posts

Pa Estate Law – 6 – Traits

Under Pennsylvania law, the proper terms for the persons in charge of your Estate Planning documents are “fiduciaries” and I refer to these people – those in charge – as the “Bosses.”

Each boss has powers (which are discussed in Pa Estate Law – Powers (5-8)).

Pa Estate Law – Notable Traits

Notable is the fact that these bosses need to possess certain traits or characteristics in order for that document to be as effective as possible.

I have experienced that two traits should be inherent in all of the bosses of all four of the documents:

Ability

Willingness

Although the bosses of each of the documents should also possess additional traits for that particular document to be effective (all of which shall be addressed in “Pa Estate Law – Documents (7-8),” unless your boss is “able” and “willing” to act on your behalf, your desires and wishes may not be followed.

• • •

This article, which I published in the The Pennsylvania Law Weekly in the Spring of 2009 (with a few minor changes) is still relevant today. You can also review this article in the series of posts that have been – and will be – published in this blog.

Pa Estate Law – 1 – Overview
Pa Estate Law – 2 – Planning
Pa Estate Law – 3 – Taxes
Pa Estate Law – 4 – Fiduciaries
Pa Estate Law – 5 – Powers
Pa Estate Law – 6 – Traits
Pa Estate Law – 7 – Documents
Pa Estate Law – 8 – Pointers

• • •

“Vincent” – Don McLean

“Starry Starry Night”

Vincent van Gogh – Bio

Vincent van Gogh
Born March 30, 1853 – Died July 29, 1890
Dutch Post-Impressionist Painter

Vincent van Gogh – Note

Don McLean wrote the lyrics in 1971 after reading a book about the life of the Vincent van Gogh.

“Vincent” describes different paintings done by the artist, and clearly demonstrates a deep-seated admiration for not only the work of van Gogh, but also for the man himself.

It is also known by its opening line, “Starry Starry Night”, a reference to van Gogh’s painting “The Starry Night.”

There are also references to van Gogh’s sanity and his suicide.

Throughout his life, van Gogh was plagued with mental disorders, particularly depression. He “suffered for [his] sanity” and eventually “took [his] life as lovers often do.”

Vincent van Gogh – Song

The following year, the song became the number one hit in the U.K. and No. 12 in the U.S.

Last Wills – Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln died “Intestate” (no Last Will).

His net worth of approximately $100,000.00 was awarded to his wife and 2 sons. The U.S. Congress paid his salary only to the day of death.

Last Wills – Abraham Lincoln – Bio

Abraham Lincoln
Born February 12, 1809 – Died April 15, 1865
16th President, United States

Last Wills – Abraham Lincoln – Note

Abraham Lincoln is the only U.S. President that died without a Last Will.

It is not known whether this was due to his assassination, as the other three U.S. Presidents who were assassinated did die with a Last Will and Testament.

Last Wills – Freddie Mercury

In his Last Will, Freddie Mercury left the vast majority of his wealth, including his home and recording royalties, to Mary Austin, and the remainder to his parents and sister.

Mary Austin continues to live at Mercury’s home, Garden Lodge, Kensington, with her family.

Last Wills – Freddie Mercury – Bio

Born September 5, 1946 – Died November 24, 1991
British Singer/Songwriter/Record Producer/Lead Vocalist and Co-Principal Songwriter of the rock band Queen.

Last Wills – Freddie Mercury – Mary Austin

In the early 1970s Mercury had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin, whom he had met through guitarist Brian May. He lived with Austin for several years in West Kensington.

By the mid-1970s, however, the singer had begun an affair with a male American record executive at Elektra Records, which ultimately resulted in the end of his relationship with Austin.

Mercury and Austin nevertheless remained close friends through the years, with Mercury often referring to her as his only true friend.

In a 1985 interview, Mercury said of Austin, “All my lovers asked me why they couldn’t replace Mary [Austin], but it’s simply impossible. The only friend I’ve got is Mary and I don’t want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that’s enough for me.”

Last Wills – Freddie Mercury – “Love of my Life”

Freddie Mercury also wrote several songs about Mary Austin, the most notable of which is “Love of My Life”.

Introduced during the “News of the World” Tour in 1977, “Love of My Life” was a concert favorite.

“Good Riddance” – Graham Chapman

“Graham Chapman, co-author of the ‘Parrot Sketch,’ is no more.”

Funeral Eulogies – Graham A. Chapman – Bio

Graham Arthur Chapman
Born January 8, 1941 – Died October 4, 1989
English Comedian/Writer/Actor/One Of The 6 Members Of Monty Python

Funeral Eulogies – Graham A. Chapman – Note

Although Chapman graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s Medical College, he turned down a career as a doctor to be a comedian. Chapman established a writing partnership with John Cleese, which reached its critical peak with Monty Python during the 1970s.

Chapman was openly homosexual and a strong supporter of gay rights, and was in a relationship with David Sherlock for most of his adult life.

Later, during his college tour, Chapman mentioned that a television audience member had written to the Pythons to complain about having a gay group member, adding that the Bible said any man who lies with a man should be taken out and stoned. With other Pythons already aware of his sexual orientation, Eric Idle jokingly replied that they had found the perpetrator and killed him.

Chapman took up pipe smoking aged 15, which continued for the remainder of his life. He began drinking heavily during his time at Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s, favouring gin. By the time Monty Python went on tour in 1973, Chapman’s drinking had begun to affect his performance, missing cues to go on stage. Chapman stopped drinking in Christmas 1977, concerned at being able to act in Life of Brian successfully, and remained sober for the rest of his life.

Funeral Eulogies – Graham A. Chapman – Eulogy

Chapman died of tonsil and spinal cancer on 4 October 1989, on the eve of Monty Python’s 20th anniversary, and his life and legacy were commemorated at a private memorial service at St Bartholomew’s with the other Pythons.

Well, I feel that I should say, “Nonsense. Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard! I hope he fries. ”

And the reason I think I should say this is, he would never forgive me if I didn’t, if I threw away this glorius opportunity to shock you all on his behalf.

Anything for him but mindless good taste.

Pa Powers of Attorney – Purpose

Pa Powers of Attorney – Intro

  • A Pa Power of Attorney grants your Pa Agent the ability to control your affairs.
  • A Pa Power of Attorney is a very powerful document.
  • A Pa Power of Attorney can permit your Agent the broadest of powers to do anything that you could have done (i.e., give all your money away)
  • Yet, inherent in the broad powers that your Agent possesses is the possibility – the extremely real possibility – that your Agent under your Pa Power of Attorney may actually do anything that you could have done (i.e., give all your money away).

Pa Powers of Attorney – Agent Traits

  • Your Pa Agent (Fiduciary) should be able and willing, first and foremost.
  • Your Pa Agent should also be levelheaded and familiar.

Pa Estate Law – 5 – Powers

Under Pennsylvania law, the proper terms for the persons in charge of your Estate Planning documents are called your “fiduciaries” and I refer to these people – those in charge – as the “Bosses.” Each boss has powers, and these powers can be summarized very simply.

Pa Estate Law – Powers – Summary

Agent (under a Power of Attorney) can help manage all of your affairs.
Surrogate (under an Advance Directive for Health Care) can execute your end of life decisions.
Executor (under a Will) can administer your Estate.
Trustee (under a Trust) can monitor and manage your Trust.

Pa Estate Law – Powers – Note

Again, and although a technical knowledge of the parameters of these various powers can be useful, it is not the point of this article. The focus is to illustrate that an Agent, a Surrogate, an Executor, and a Trustee can generally possess broad powers to act for you under that respective document.

• • •

This article, which I published in the The Pennsylvania Law Weekly in the Spring of 2009 (with a few minor changes) is still relevant today. You can also review this article in the series of posts that have been – and will be – published in this blog.

Pa Estate Law – 1 – Overview
Pa Estate Law – 2 – Planning
Pa Estate Law – 3 – Taxes
Pa Estate Law – 4 – Fiduciaries
Pa Estate Law – 5 – Powers
Pa Estate Law – 6 – Traits
Pa Estate Law – 7 – Documents
Pa Estate Law – 8 – Pointers

• • •

“You Have To Forgive Yourself”

Dr. Cox: So how come you don’t have to get all dressed up?

Ben: I am dressed up. You see any holes in these pants?

Dr. Cox: No.

Ben: I’m glad you made it. Listen. There is one more thing you have to do for me.

Dr. Cox: You can’t keep me from getting drunk.

Ben: You have to forgive yourself for everything that went down the other day.

Dr. Cox: You are so annoying.

Ben: Yeah.

Dr. Cox: Okay.

Ben: Good.

Dr. Cox: Now, where is your camera? Aren’t, aren’t you going to take some pictures?

… J.D.: Pictures of what? …

Dr. Cox: You know. Crying babies. Covered in chocolate. People singing happy birthday to my son, who’ve never even met him before. You know, the whole routine.

… J.D.: Where do you think we are? …

… but in the end …

… the most important thing to accept is that …

… no matter alone you feel …

… how painful it may be …

… with the help of those around you …

… you will get through this too …

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