The WT vultures will NOT feed on my carcass!

by expatbrit 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • expatbrit

    This is sort of a connected subject to Englishman's prior post. It's a difficult subject, so I'm sorry if it upsets anyone. But it's been on my mind for a few weeks.

    I'm sure that for all of us WT "survivors" (thanks for that term, Esmeralda), the idea of our funeral being used as a propagandistic sales pitch for the WT is repugnant.

    But, for those of us whose family are still JW's, it's a very real possibility. If I were to die tomorrow, I am sure my family would insist upon the JW formulaic services, even if they knew I did not want to go out that way. It makes me sick to think of it.

    In fact, I am considering amending my will to try and prevent that happening. This is a bit ironic, since my will currently includes the text of the blood card! My lawyer's certainly going to be curious!

    I'm thinking of putting in paragraphs specifically forbidding a Kingdom Hall service, requiring a non-religious burial procedure, and forbidding any of my material goods from benefitting the grubby blood-stained hands of the WTS. This latter item may admittedly be difficult, since my wife will have control of my estate.

    But, I'm just starting to think of how to do this, how to word the thing. In fact, I'm not even sure it would be legally binding, or enforceable.

    Is there anyone here with some general legal knowledge who can give some basic guidelines before I spend copious cash in a conversation with my lawyer? If so, it's much appreciated.

    Anyone else with ideas on wording: please feel free to chime in!


  • mustang

    Go to the biggest shopping center you can find or several small ones. I'm not sure if you are mtetropolitan or way isolated. Anyway, the more choices, the better. Hunt through several bookstores/software stores. There are usually some do-it-yourself
    law books these days. You should find "will kits" among them. They may be books or they may be software. Buy several of the inexpensive ones to get a variety of ideas and viewpoints. This should prepare you for the ultimate consultation.

    Again, depending on your location, you may find a "legal aid workshop". I would expect this only in the metropolitan areas.

    Good hunting

  • Tina

    Hi expat,
    Just a suggestion here,,,,this goes into the realm of estate planning. I don't think it would cost too much for a consultation with an atty who specializes in this area. This is an area where do-it-yourself-isn't such a good idea(MHO)
    They can show you options for trust funds,or possibly having a co-executor along with your wife. The trust or estate plan would be designed specifically to your wishes (making sure the wts doesnt get any assets thru her)
    If I had married a jw,that's what I would do....regards,Tina

  • mustang

    More on Tina's suggestion: certain insurance agents specialize in estate planning. A relative of mine did that before going into teaching for certification. You can get plenty of information from them just for LISTENING TO THE SALES PITCH. You will need to find one that caters to 'well-heeled' clients for the best options. That's still low bucks info gathering.

    For serious low bucks data collection, there is always the public library.

    I meant to mention earlier that US & Canadian laws are differnt. I recently found this out, personally. Hopefully, anything that is suggested here is similar to custom north of the border.

    And as Tina reminded me, I have to add the following paragraph.
    They are becoming more and more necessary.

    Disclaimer: I AM NOT A LAWYER, NOR IS ANYTHING THAT I PASS ON TO BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD REVIEW ANYTHING THAT YOU DO W/ QUALIFIED COUNSEL. (This is retroactive to any and all statements that I have ever made.)


  • Tina

    lol hi Mustang,
    Neither am I an attorney :> Just learned a few things from life experience,,tho,I will disagree about the ins agents,they lack the legal expertise that an attorney has in these case. They don't know about the various types of trust (example,say you wanted to know if a Totten trust would be a good option,they dont know that stuff) and the finer legal aspects of them,,.but again,just MHO,cheers,Tina

  • expatbrit

    Thanks guys.

    I'm expecting this to cost me. You know lawyers. Just think about them and a bill arrives in the mail!

    I'll be doing the bookstore thing. The government here publishes quite a lot of material on the subject.

    But has anyone here actually done this?

    Mustang: After much consideration, I've decided not to sue you for the emotional trauma caused by reading your disclaimer.


  • joelbear

    It is in my will that my partner Mitch is executor of my estate and in charge of arranging my memorial service.

    I want my funeral to be a party where people remember the good times we've had. That is the stuff of life.



  • outnfree

    I'm with Tina that you should go see an attorney (barrister? counsellor?). Insurance agents who do estate planning tend to try to sell you annuities or some such, which are NOT the best way to go.
    Most estate planning attorneys (they are specialists) in the States will give you at least a 1/2 hour free consult, some a longer time period. Since you already have most of your wishes laid out in a will, your consult could focus on the concerns you outlined above.
    I take it the text of the blood card is in your will, because you've given your wife some kind of medical power of attorney?(Is your stand the same on blood anyway?) That doesn't mean she needs to be responsible for your funeral arrangments. And a well-planned estate, while costing attorney's fees up front (approx. $1500), could very well save your heirs/wife much more than that in tax savings.
    But as the others have stated above: I AM NOT A LAWYER. Plus, I, too, live in the States, and estate law in Canada is likely to be different from here. I only know a real estate lawyer in Etobicoke, so you're on your own in your search. But, IMNSHO, wills are only slightly better than dying intestate.

  • Tina

    Hi outnfree!
    You're on the money here. I don't think Canadian law can be that much different. Another point you're correct on is,that many atttys will give free or minimal fee consultations...They know folks shop around for an atty like anything else :>
    And your last and most important point is true,my husband died intestate and that's how I learned,the hard way,going thru probate court,setting up funds etc.....anyone reading this topic, can avoid a lot of probs for loved ones by setting up a regards,Tina

  • ZazuWitts


    Well, just some more opinions and some thoughts:

    I believe it is possible to "ammend" your present will to keep the attorney costs down. Take your copy of your current will, make another copy, cross-out the parts re blood, add the part as to how you want your eventual funeral conducted. Do this - before - you consult with an attorney. It will save time and money.

    Also, see a planning consultant at an established funeral home - there is usually no charge for this service - inquire about prepaid arrangements, and re what you explicitly want done (re services, burial,etc.) upon your death. These consultants are quite knowledgeable - I wouldn't be surprised to learn he/she have dealt with other situations similar to yours. For example, I personally knew a Roman Catholic couple, she was quite devout, he couldn't have cared a hairy rat's bum. In fact, he carried a notarized card in his wallet, saying he did not want a Roman Catholic mass, burial, and didn't want 'last rites.' Additionally he had his hospital records marked with "no last rites." He had prepaid and prearrangened his funeral.

    His will also reflected this, but in order to take every measure he could to insure that his wife didn't alter his wishes, he tried to cover all bases.
    He also entrusted and authorized a good friend (who also was pragmatic and didn't want a religious funeral) - to immediately, upon learning of his death, contact the funeral director to see if his wishes were being carried out. Morticians are licensed and legally bound to carry out pre-arrangements. This, did indeed, stymy his wife. She wasn't about to pay-out additional $$$$$ for the services of another mortician. So, he got what he wanted in terms of final arragements.

    The financial picture may be another story. I know that there are 'trusts' that will provide the survivor with a regular, scheduled income, and that also allow said party to receive 'extra' for valid purchases and/or wants. They can also "exclude/deny" such things as large donations to evangelical associations, yes, even the WTBTS. However, they may have loopholes which your spouse could utilize if she was gung-ho re giving the society a considerable sum -- for example, she could 'want' a diamond bracelet, then turn around and present that as a gift to Brooklyn! (You know they have advertized/advised on such things.) If you have no children?? to pass a portion of your estate on to, you can also specify that upon her death the remainder of the estate will go to some worthwhile charity, etc.
    The financial issues are where it will cost you - you'll need an estate attorney/executor for such arrangements.

    Probably well worth it in order to see your wishes carried about re the organization not benefiting are honored.

    Again, these are just my thoughts. So, start with some basic footwork. If you have a university law school near you, that would also be a good place to check out some estate planning texts for ideas. And, sometimes you just get lucky and find a 3rd-year law student who can be quite helpful in your search - hey you might wind up being his first client - once he passes the 'bar.'
    And, it's no crime to invite him to a bar for a round or two, either. :) :)
    Just my 2 (hmmmm, I've heard that somewhere, hehe.)

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