Monday, November 29, 2010

He Thought He Was Rich (Take Two)

Research before you write. Following that rule would have saved me from missing part of the story surrounding Nick Martin, who thought he was rich.

Mr. Martin adopted a lifestyle apparently aimed at keeping up with his brother and brother-in-law. Both of them did become rich, thanks to their much larger stakes in the family business.

Yet now I discover that the brother-in-law, David Weyrich, also went broke! In the process he seems to have disappointed a number of California brides.

When I was writing the Investment and Trust Newsletter, I might have pointed to Mr. Martin and Mr. Weyrich as examples of why inheritances are best passed down in trust. On his Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof blog, Gerry Beyer makes that very point:
One effective way to prevent beneficiaries from following in the footsteps of the Martins is to place the gifted assets into a trust rather than giving it to them outright.
But now I'm not so sure. Mr. Martin was in his late 40s when his liquidity event occurred. Mr. Weyrich was probably of similar age – a mature businessman. At some point a person ought to be old enough to blow a fortune if he or she really wants to.

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