human miniature standing over piled coins

An elderly woman decided to handle the issue of heirs by sending a clear message with shredded money and accounts.

An 85-year-old nursing home resident decided to send a loud and clear message to her heirs when 950,000 Euros and saving accounts books were found in tiny pieces on her bed when she died. It is most likely that the nursing home resident, who has not been identified, didn’t want them to inherit the assets.

Initially, local prosecutors said there was nothing that could be done for the family. However, the Austrian Central Bank has stated that they will replace the money and the family will get it despite the woman’s intent.

eNCA reported this story in “Granny shreds million euros to spite heirs.”

It is unclear why the woman felt that she had to go to this extreme. Austrian law might dictate that a portion of a person’s estate goes to their surviving family. In the United States, however, if a person does not want to leave anything to their family, they do not have to.

There are some exceptions to that for surviving spouses and minor children, but for the most part people in the U.S. are free to cut family members out of receiving an inheritance.

If you do not want to leave your assets to your heirs it is probably best to consider options rather than shredding it. An estate planning attorney could be more helpful by explaining alternatives that could benefit charities, educational facilities or governments, depending on your preferences.

Reference: eNCA (Nov. 5, 2015) “Granny shreds million euros to spite heirs.”

For more information on asset preservation and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.