Saturday, November 03, 2007

Vitriol From Beyond the Grave

In a note to Randy Cohen, resident "ethicist" at The New York Times, Susan Jackson describes a testator from the Dark Side:
I recently received a vitriolic diatribe from a friend who died of cancer four years ago. In her will, she ordered her diary entries transcribed and sent to each person she wrote about. Her executor was, I guess, legally bound to follow her wishes, but should he have, knowing that this would more than likely hurt the recipients?
What do you think the executor should have done?

1 comment:

Jim Gust said...

What would happen if the executor ignored the instructions? Most likely, nothing. No one has an incentive to enforce such provisions, and no one is harmed if they are ignored.

On the other hand, a corporate fiduciary most likely could not ignore the instructions without damage to its own reputation for thoroughness in estate settlement. So it pays to read the will before accepting the appointment.