Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Can’t think of what to get that person who has everything? Consider a personal submarine.
Triton Submarines makes two and three passenger “yacht based submersiles.” Although regularly used by researchers and tour companies, the majority of those sold are purely for fun. The submarines are made for deployment on mega-yachts and allow users to dive deep into the ocean in perfect air-conditioned comfort and safety.
The best seller is the entry level 1000/2, which can take two passengers 1,000 feet deep. For only $2.2 million, order one for that special someone today.
See Larry Olmsted, Gift for the Person Who Has Everything? A Personal Submarine, Forbes, Nov. 24, 2013.
Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Two Lubbock cats are now living in luxury after their owner left them his estate.
Leon Sheppard, Sr., left his 4,270-square-foot house in a gated community to his two cats, Frisco and Jake. He also left them $250,000 to be used for their care and the maintenance of the house.
When Frisco dies, the will states that whatever is left of the estate will be passed to Sheppard’s human heirs. The heirs will be allowed to move Jake out of the house, but he must still be cared for. When asked for comment, Sheppard’s daughter said the family does not want to talk about it.
See Janice Broach, Cats Receive $250K, House in Owner's Will, KCBD, Nov. 19, 2013.
Special thanks to Cameron Brumfield (Texas Tech University School of Law, 2015) for bringing this article to my attention.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Andy Kaufman supposedly died of lung cancer in 1984; however, rumors have since circulated that Kaufman’s final prank was to fake his own death.
This apparent hoax was recently given a bit more weight at the Andy Kaufman Awards. At this celebration of young comedy talent, Andy’s brother Michael came on stage to tell the audience he had received a call from a 24-year-old woman saying she was Andy’s daughter and that he was still alive. That woman then joined Michael on-stage.
She suggested that she had only recently learned of her father’s past, but that Andy may be willing to reunite with his brother as well as the public eye.
See Alice Vincent, Andy Kaufman’s ‘Daughter’ Appearance Sparks Rumours the Comedian Is Still Alive, The Telegraph, Nov. 14, 2013.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Disposing of sex toys (and all the other embarrassing items hidden around the house) is something boomers should be concerned about. After all, the children are the most likely to be clearing out the house after you’re gone.
Consider designating an Eradicator to come and remove your stash after you’ve passed. Or if you’re going into the hospital, think about giving those romantic mementos from a past relationship to a friend for safe-keeping. Whether it's cleaning out your attic, sock drawer, or browser history, do some sex toy estate planning so your embarrassment doesn’t follow you into the afterlife.
See Joyce Walder, The Sex Toys in the Attic, The New York Times, Nov. 9, 2013.
Special thanks to Paul L. Caron (Pepperdine University School of Law, Editor of TaxProf Blog) for bringing this article to my attention.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
In case of a zombie apocalypse, it may be helpful to know a few laws concerning the dead (or undead).
First of all, are those zombies really dead? Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, a person is dead when “there is irreversible cessation of the person’s spontaneous respiratory and circulatory functions.” However, in the eyes of the law, a person is technically living until pronounced dead by a medical professional.
Now what if these zombies attack you? First, you may want to be wary of abusing the corpse. You can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor for damaging, dissecting, or treating a corpse in an offensive manner. The zombie’s family may also have a case against you for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
How can you protect yourself from zombies? You are justified in using deadly force if you reasonably believe it is immediately necessary to protect yourself from unlawful deadly force. You can also use deadly force to protect a third person if it would be justified were you in the third person’s shoes. Booby traps are legal, but are unlikely to be of any help during a zombie invasion. Texas currently has no laws on hunting zombies. However, you may want to brush up on the laws for open seasons and the provisions about hunting from roads or vehicles.
What can I do before the zombie apocalypse occurs? Get your affairs in order now by writing a will. Also, it’s best to know the laws on carrying firearms.
See Emily D. Walterscheid, Texas Zombie Laws, Matthew Harris Law’s Blog, Oct. 28, 2013.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
Count Scarpa, an eccentric Sao Paulo entrepreneur, wanted to drive in style in the afterlife so he announced plans to bury his £300,000 Bentley Flying Spur in his garden.
Count Scarpa got the idea to bury his “most precious item” while watching a television show about the ancient Egyptians. Scarpa posted pictures on his Facebook page with his Bentley next to a large hole, but ended up not burying the valuable car.
It turns out his plan was a stunt meant to bring attention to organ donation. Scarpa says, “I did not bury my car, but everyone thought it was absurd when I said I was going to. It’s absurd that people bury their organs, which can save many lives. Nothing is more valuable. Be a donor, tell your family."
See A Gift for the Afterlife, The Art Newspaper, Sept. 30, 2013.
Monday, September 16, 2013
The owner of Vivos, Robert Vicino, is building massive, luxury bunkers for those looking to be comfortable when Doomsday arrives.
The largest shelter will be built in a former mine near Atchison, Kansas and should cover 2 million square feet with room for 5,000. For just $20,000, a family of four can drive their RV into this community, which is planned to have a wine bar, gym, spa, theater, and dance floor. For those looking for privacy, a “Quantum” private shelter is available.
Vicino says about 25,000 have already applied. A smaller bunker in Indiana and two upstate New York facilities are also planned.
See Doyle Murphy, Luxury Bunker Promises Members Doomsday Comfort, Daily News, Sept. 11, 2013.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.
Friday, August 23, 2013
For hundreds of years, Chinese tradition dictates the burning of “ghost money” to ensure the comfort of ancestors in the afterlife. Ghost money is fake paper bills emblazoned with the image of the Emperor of the Underworld and are sold in shops offering a wide range of other paper products meant to be burned for the dead’s benefit like iPods, cupcakes, suits, six packs of beer, and even pet products.
The Chinese have typically burned small denominations of fives or tens, but due to inflation, the value of the biggest bills has grown considerably in recent decades. With the upcoming Hungry Ghost festival, the most popular bill is the $1 trillion dollar bill because “it allows the ghosts to buy many things, such as a fancy car and a big house.” However, small bills are still sold because the ghosts do need some spare change. Deceased ancestors also need ghost money in order to bribe bureaucrats and support their gambling habits.
Click here for a video describing this otherworldly practice.
See Te-Ping Chen, In Hong Kong, Inflation Worries Spook the Spirit World, The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 19, 2013.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Lies is a comic sketch written by Zhubin Parang, an Emmy award-winning writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
This hilarious video features a couple who is pressed to disclose ALL of their financial assets for the sake of their son. The short video is directed by Michael Markham, an actor/filmmaker/photographer based in New York City, and stars Julie Sharbutt, Michael Markham, and Lauren Adams.
The video is in response to Luke 8:17, "For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad."
See Zhubin Parang, Lies, Spark and Echo Arts, Inc., July 15, 2013.