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WASTED WEALTH: $40 MILLION AND NO WILL

Friday, May 17th, 2013 by

Roman Blum died last year in New York at the age of 97 with $40 million worth of assets.  At first glance, that sounds like a wonderful way to leave the world.  However, Mr. Blum passed away without a will or any other indication of who he wanted to receive his fortune.  He also was a Holocaust survivor, and it appears that his unique history died with him

Mr. Blum left behind enough assets to really make a difference in the world.  If he had planned, he would have had many options to improve the lives of others by making charitable contributions or leaving money to specific individuals.  Unfortunately, without a plan or any obvious heirs (Mr. Blum died without a spouse or children), the $40 million may end up going to the state of New York rather than to the causes or people Mr. Blum cared about.

Perhaps the most tragic part of Mr. Blum’s failure to plan is that he died without preserving his life wisdom.  Mr. Blum’s friends and acquaintances gave the media a rough timeline of his life, but no one seemed to know his exact experience during the Holocaust.  He earned his fortune buying and developing property, but it does not appear that he ever shared his secret to success.

If you know anyone who has wealth to share with the world, whether it is assets or life wisdom, encourage them to plan before it is too late.  A counseling-oriented estate planning attorney can help to preserve their individual legacy and ensure their wealth passes according to their wishes and not the state’s.

For more on Mr. Blum, see: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/nyregion/holocaust-survivor-left-an-estate-worth-almost-40-million-but-no-heirs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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