Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Friday, November 6, 2020

Sod Cemetery - Tallahassee, Florida

Sod cemeteryFlorida State University is known for its love of football and the tradition that it is rooted in. Like many other powerful college football teams, the fans of Florida State flaunt their team colors, tailgate on game day, scream the team chants at the top of their lungs, etc. However, there is one Florida State tradition that is a bit unusual: the Sod Cemetery. 

In preparation for a game against the University of Georgia in 1962, professor and athletic board member Dean Coyle Moore told the players to "bring back some sod from between the hedges at Georgia." 

"Team captain Gene McDowell took the statement literally: He pulled a handful of grass from the field after the 18-0 victory, and presented it to Moore at the next practice. Moore and FSU coach Bill Peterson buried the sod on the practice field. A monument was later put in place to commemorate the victory, and the tradition of the Sod Cemetery had begun." 

Now, when Florida State marks a win in a road game as the underdog, all games against their rival—the Florida Gators —and all ACC title and bowl games, the team captains are to collect a piece of the sod from the field. 

Moore wrote about the tradition and passed on instructions on how to remove the sod, the ceremonies that follow a proper burial (in tiny coffins), and how to place the "headstones." 

Visitors can take a look at the the cemetery, which is located outside the gates of the practice field at Doak Campbell Stadium. 

See Mom0ja, Sod Cemetery, Atlas Obscura, (last visited November 5, 2020). 

November 6, 2020 in Estate Planning - Generally, Games, Humor, Sports, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Best Father’s Day Gift, a Father Can Give

FathersdayOn the day that is meant to celebrate fathers and the role they play in their children's lives, they usually receive the typical gifts: a stand-out tie, a shiny new grill, maybe a nice set of tools. But what about the ultimate gift that fathers can give to their children and other loved ones?

While a ballgame sounds great on the penultimate holiday for fatherhood, any real dad will tell you that the true reward is having a sense of accomplishment, in knowing you left everything on the field when providing for your family. An effective estate plan with all the appropriate and necessary documents will pass on your legacy and keeping your loved ones safe and protected even after you have passed on.

A health care proxy allows you to designate a person to make the difficult decisions if you become seriously ill or incapacitated. A living will details the end-of-life instructions to be carried out by a medical facility as it pertains to life sustaining care. Having a durable power of attorney can be established for other decisions in a time of need, such as financial decisions that are need when you cannot. Of course, no estate plan is complete with a disposition of property, so either a living trust or a will is necessary to transfer your assets as you desire.

See The Best Father’s Day Gift, a Father Can Give, OC Estate Lawyers, June 13, 2019.

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


June 16, 2019 in Current Affairs, Death Event Planning, Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Games, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Article on Estate Planning for the Online Gamer

Virtual estate planMichael Austin recently published an Article entitled, Virtual World, Real Money: Estate Planning Considerations for the Online Gamer, 9 Est. Plan. & Community Prop. L.J. 85 (2016). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

This comment aims to address potential issues inherent in estate planning for digital assets, and it poses a series of questions that estate planners may use to gain a better understanding of their client’s virtual assets. But, before this comment can explore the intricacies of virtual economies in today’s games, a brief history of online gaming is necessary. 

To begin, this comment will present a history of online gaming to lay a foundation for understanding online gaming’s evolution to its current state. The comment will then turn to briefly discussing recently reported, notable transactions in online economies to give examples of situations in which estate planning may benefit the purchasing gamer. Next, this comment will outline the approach that current state laws take to handle digital assets from an estate planning prospective. This comment will then argue that, in lieu of these laws, estate planners must pay special attention to the emergence of online gaming economies, which can yield considerable wealth for their clients. With these state statutes in mind, this comment will propose legislation that any state could adopt to account for the influx of virtual wealth throughout the video gaming community. Finally, this comment will propose a series of questions that can help an estate planner prepare to handle the various digital assets that a client may possess. 


March 3, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Games, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Who Really Took Home the Gold in This Year's Olympics?

Gold medal bonusWinning an Olympic gold medal is a priceless opportunity, but based on where you are from, you can expect a financial windfall. For example, Joseph Schooling beat Michael Phelps in the 100-meter butterfly swimming event, becoming the first Singapore athlete to win a gold medal. Consequently, he will win the country’s $753,000 gold-medal bonus, grossing nearly 30 times more money than any American athlete would ever take home for winning the gold. The International Olympic Committee has come under fire over the years for how little of the generated money actually trickles down to the athletes. Oftentimes, however, superstar athletes can expect to rake in millions through endorsements, sponsorships, and paid appearances. Review the Article for a breakdown of various countries’ gold-medal bonuses. 

See Sally French, How Much Money Will Gold Medal Winners in Rio Take Home?, Market Watch, August 21, 2016.

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

September 2, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Games, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Should People Play The Lottery?

LotteryThe odds of winning the lottery are very long, and a person has more of a chance of being struck by lightning or falling airplane parts. Despite the statistical unlikelihood of ever winning about 57 percent of American adults spend up to $50 billion each year trying to win the lottery. The odds stay the same regardless of how many times a person plays because there is an independent probability of winning in each round. A person can improve their odds by purchasing more tickets in one single drawing. Most of the revenue that States draw from lotteries come from a small percentage of dedicated players. The lottery can be fun to play for the entertainment value, but it should not be viewed as a serious investment strategy.

See Jean Folger, The Lottery: Is it Ever Worth Playing?, Investopedia, January 12, 2016.

January 13, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Games | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Price (Plus Tax) Is Right


Contestants on The Price Is Right may win big but may also be unprepared for the hefty taxes owed before receiving their prizes.  Winners must pay California’s state income tax up front as well as federal income taxes.  If the prize is large enough, it could even bump you into a higher federal tax bracket.

According to Andrea Schwartz, who won a Mazda 2 compact car, she had to pay $2,500 in taxes before she could claim the car or end up forfeiting the prize.  Another contestant explains that once you get a call from the car dealership during the 90-day window, you only have 10 days to arrange the paperwork, pay the taxes, and go pick up your new car wherever the dealership may be. 

Schwartz also won a pool table and shuffle board table, which she had to pay money to store and ship to another location due to the small size of her apartment.  She had to sell the prizes because the show does not allow you to take the cash value of any prizes.  That includes extravagant vacations, which contestants must also pay sales and income taxes on or forfeit.

See Sarah B. Weir, The Price Is Right . . . and the Taxes Are High, Yahoo! Shine, Aug. 19, 2013.

Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.


August 25, 2013 in Games, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ballpark Economics

BaseballEconomics is not the first thought that comes to minds of millions of individuals who enjoy the great American pastime. However, economics has become the talk for analysts at ConvergEX Group. Their analysts determined that a correlation exists between consumer confidence and attendance, which is good news for investors if attendance increases by 3 to 5%, as predicted by Commissioner Bud Selig, in the upcoming season. Analysts from ConvergEx argue that baseball attendance has mirrored consumer confidence in the past too. Attendance declined at the beginning of the recent recession in 2007 and has steadily increased since 2008.

Based upon the predicted modest percentage increase in attendance during this current season, it is likely that the economy will also enjoy a modest recovery. What is the reason for this correlation? According to CNBC.com, it is likely based upon the demographics of the average baseball attendee. Most are upper-middle class, and are likely members of what one would consider the average American household. Therefore, how the average American feels about the economy is actually how the average baseball fan feels about the economy. Let's just hope that more and more Americans will decide to go out to the old ballgame this summer.

See John Melloy, Moneyball? MLB Attendance Signals Modest Recovery, CNBC.com, Apr. 5, 2012.

Special thanks to David S. Luber (Attorney at law, Florida Probate Attorney Wills and Estates Law Firm) for bringing this article to my attention. 

April 18, 2012 in Games, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)