Estate Planning for the New World

Disclaimer: This column does not create an attorney client relationship between the author, Bobbie Pratt of Pratt & Witt, LLP, and the readers of this column and privilege is not triggered.  If you have any actual legal problems relating to the current or future apocalypses please consult an attorney.  If you have any general  questions about the law, you may contact Ms. Pratt at aftereverafter3 at gmail dot com.  You may not visit her office; she does not have one; permanent locations make her too easy to locate; she believes in the overuse of semicolons. 

Dear Ms. Pratt,

I have no spouse, no living parents, nor any immediate relatives save an annoying cousin on my mother’s side named Roy.  I have a large estate consisting mostly of gold coins, Civil War muskets, and a dozen complete sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  I don’t mind if the cousin gets the muskets, but I would rather my pet skreekagog inherit the rest.  The last time I tried to write a will leaving it all to my pet (a parrot–since consumed deceased) my attorney said that animals can’t take.  Is this still true?


Bunkered in Birmingham

Dear Bunkered:

Since the overlords have left, the consensus is that typical geopolitical lines will reassert themselves and thus the statutes that were formerly in place before the invasion will resume.  And sadly, under our previous outdated rules, pets could not be devisees under a will.  However there is hope! You may be able to establish a trust for the benefit of your skreekagog.  If there is someone you know who is responsible and alive, you may appoint him or her as Trustee of the objects which may be sold and the proceeds used for the feeding, housing, grooming of your clawed natural object of your bounty.  However, there is not much that can be done by way of ensuring that your wishes are carried out.  Your skreekagog is unlikely to be aware of his rights as you intended and thus will be unable to bring suit against the trustee should the skreekagog not be treated in a manner befitting his station.  Furthermore, your cousin may contest your will claiming that you lacked the necessary testamentary capacity (who leaves gold coins to an alien cat monster creature?).

Fortunately, when you die your skrekagog will likely eat you and then you won’t really care what happens to him during probate.


Bobbie Pratt. 


4 thoughts on “Estate Planning for the New World

  1. I have no trouble believing that the Lawyers will not only survive the apocalypse, but will continue happily taking depositions and writing briefs. Probably living on an exclusive green-algae diet, with the occasional bowl of Cockroach Pops, but still in their suits and sweater sets and polished shoes.

    (I’m sending this to my lawyer dad)

  2. As the stars align, and inevitable zombie apocalypse draws ever closer, is it possible to establish a trust to behest my considerable wealth to my soon to be deceased self? What are the tax implications.


    Delusional in Derbyshire

    • Ooooh, that is an excellent, EXCELLENT question. In fact it’s so excellent I’ll have to save it for a full post next week–perhaps with some case law thrown in for good measure.

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