Jon Rohr of tiny Limon Colorado was a wealthy man but you couldn’t prove it by his lifestyle. The manager of the local electric cooperative, Mr. Rohr was known for driving an old car without air conditioning and preferring to shop at thrift stores instead of the local shopping malls. It was this frugal lifestyle which gave the townspeople the impression Mr. Rohr was not a “man of means”. Imagine their surprise when this same gentleman left a multi-million dollar estate to benefit the community!
As we discussed last week, one of the most important things a Surprise Millionaire can do is to make sure their wishes are known prior to their passing. Unfortunately, I have stumbled upon another story with a Surprise Millionaire’s will, this time from the United Kingdom. Retired mid-wife and nurse, Joan Edwards thought she had done it completely right. She contacted her local solicitors and had a last will and testament drawn up making (she thought) her last wishes known. It appears that even with all of this preparation, the specifics of the will’s bequest were still open to interpretation. It was unfortunately left to the government (and its political parties) to sort it all out. I guess I need to amend my cautions on this subject to include, “make your wishes known, make them legal and make them very clear.
This week we have yet another Surprise Millionaire who didn’t draft a formal last will and testament to make her wishes known. However, this particular person did at least scribble a few things on the back of a postcard! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will once again implore all of you potential Surprise Millionaires out there to make a will, make it legal and let a responsible person know what your wishes are. When so much time and effort is spent accumulating wealth over a lifetime, it seems a shame not to ensure that the funds are distributed in a way that best honors the giver.