Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Is Laughter the Best Medicine?

LaughterLaughter truly is the best medicine, so it is no surprise that one-third of Brits want to be remembered for their humor when they die. Specifically, 36% of Brits prioritized humor over every other trait, while 41% said their most enduring memories with loved ones included their jokes, smiles, and laughs. As for how they want to be defined in death, most Brits claimed that levity and amusement were the most-desired characteristics. Further, the study looked at how memories impact coping with death. Many of the survey participants felt that their memories of loved ones were tainted because of the poor end-of-life care they received. Losing a loved one can be a traumatic time, but the right support and laughter may just be the necessary coping mechanisms.

See Now That’s Having the Last Laugh! A Third of Brits Want to Be Remembered for Their Sense of Humor After They Die, Daily Mail, March 16, 2017.

April 1, 2017 in Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Brazilian Woman Celebrates Her Own Funeral While Still Alive

Funeral live A Brazilian woman has fulfilled her fourteen-year-long dream of experiencing her own funeral while still alive. Vera Lucia da Silva arranged for herself to lie in a coffin all day, while her family and friends pretended she was dead. The ceremony took place on the Day of the Dead in South America at a funeral home. The Brazilian woman has always had a fascination for funeral ceremonies, so it was no surprise that she described the day as “the best day of her life.”  

See Janet Tappin Coelho, ‘Being Dead Was the Best Day of My Life!’ Woman Pretends to Have Died and Spends a Day Lying in a Coffin so She Can Experience Her Own Funeral, Daily Mail, November 3, 2016. 


March 11, 2017 in Death Event Planning, Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Texas Family Writes Honest Obituary for "Evil" Relative

In memoryLeslie Ray Charping’s death presented the perfect opportunity for his family to write a brutally honest obituary memorializing their “evil” relative. According to the obituary, Chapring left “behind two relieved children” as well as “countless other victims.” His family further wrote that he “became a model example of bad parenting combined with mental illness and a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing and being generally offensive.” Overall, Charping “possessed no redeeming qualities besides quick sarcasm, which was amusing during his sober days.”  

See Obit Proves Family Couldn’t Be Happier Their ‘Evil’ Relative Is Dead, Fox News, February 10, 2017.


February 11, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Pole Dancers Hired for Taiwan Politician's Memorial

Pole dancersFormer Chiayi County Council Speaker Tung Hsiang recently passed away, and his funeral procession included fifty pole dancers standing on multicolored Jeeps. The former speaker’s son detailed a dream he had in which his father insisted that his memorial be hilarious. The funeral procession included the dancers, traditional totems, drummers, luxury cars, and flag bearers, all of which represented the politician’s love of crowded places. The practice of hiring pole dancers for memorials became popular in Taiwan in the 1980s, when the females were hired to cry at the processions. 

See Steve George & Jane Zhang, 50 Pole Dancers Escort Taiwan Politician’s Funeral Procession, CNN, January 6, 2017. 


January 7, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Man's Obituary Does Not Play by the Rules

Funny obituaryChris Connors did not play by the rules, and his family certainly reflected that in his obituary. The obituary starts out by letting readers know that he died from whisky and stubbornness while cramming 1,000 years of life into sixty-seven calendar years. Connors was known for his career on Wall Street, his ocean swims in January, and leading rousing nights out on the town with friends. Connors wife and three children were by his side when he passed from ALS and pancreatic cancer on December 9.

See Man’s Family Gives Him the Ultimate Obituary, Fox News, December 16, 2016. 


December 18, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 9, 2016

A New App That Ages Your Face

AgingboothDo you want to see how you will look when you are old? AgingBooth is a new app that uses your pictures and instantly ages your face. This face aging machine can be downloaded to your iPhone or iPod Touch and used on your family, friends, or colleagues. Are you ready to face your future?

See AgingBooth, Pivi & Co.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this app to my attention.  

December 9, 2016 in Current Events, Elder Law, Humor, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Man's Obituary Says "He'd Rather Die than Watch the Debate"

Norman davisA retired long-haul trucker recently passed away hours before the first presidential debate, saying that he would “rather die than watch the debates.” After his passing, his obituary has attracted substantial attention, pinning his blunt humor on the candidates’ argumentative debates. He was a confirmed non-voter, and the obituary does not give any insight on his views of either candidate. 

See Chris Summers, He Said He’d Rather Die than Watch the Debates . . . and He Kept His Word! Hilarious Obituary of Pennsylvania Trucker Who Worried ‘the Nation Is Going Someplace in a Handbasket’, Daily Mail, October 20, 2016. 


October 20, 2016 in Current Events, Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 5, 2016

How the Obituary Cartoon Affects Business

Obituary cartoonAn obituary cartoon can move people in the moment, reminding them of wonderful memories, but to some, its impact and worth are meaningless. The obituary cartoon is often a staple of the industry, attracting readers who lament over images that reflect their perception of the departed. Some argue that obituary cartoons have not become an anachronism due to their constant evolution throughout time. Indeed, the key is originality because in doing so, the cartoon reminds us who we are and what we value.

See Michael Cavna, So Someone Famous Has Just Died. Is the Obituary Cartoon Good or Bad for Business?, Washington Post, September 1, 2016.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 5, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Colorful Obituary

ZieglerAn obituary detailing the life and death of William Ziegler is colorful and true to self. The obituary talks about those that he left behind—four children, five grandchildren, and the potted meat industry. After war, Ziegler moved back to New Orleans to become a fireman for the next 25 years until he realized running away from burning buildings made more sense. He had no wishes for a burial service but would like everyone to drink a Schaefer Light in his honor, and hey, if he ever owed you a beer, you can buy him another in heaven.

See William Ziegler, Obituaries, The Times-Picayune, August 12, 2016.

Special thanks to Elizabeth Carter (Professor of Law, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center) for bringing this article to my attention.  

August 12, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dueling Obituaries from Two Separate Lovers

Dueling obituariesThis week, a New Jersey man’s “loving wife” and “longtime girlfriend” placed dueling obituaries in the same newspaper. The wife’s obituary states that he is survived by his wife, son, and two other children from a previous relationship. While the girlfriend’s obituary explains that he is survived by his son, six siblings, and longtime girlfriend. A funeral home spokesman clarifies that both obituaries were necessary because both significant others wanted it done their way.

See New Jersey Man’s Wife, Girlfriend Place Side-by-Side Obituaries in Newspaper, Fox News, August 5, 2016.

August 7, 2016 in Humor | Permalink | Comments (0)