Saturday, 7 June 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Gone with the Windfall

You just inherited $1,000,000 from an aunt you didn’t even know existed. What’s the first thing you buy (or otherwise use the money for)?

Morrocan girl dancing

Probably I would be dancing on air, something like this Moroccan lady in a nightclub in Marrakech, but on the other hand, this is not so easy.

There is an aunt, unknown to me, that is a millionaire and leaves me $1,000,000 and the problems begin. We can assume that this aunt lives in the states leaving dollars and has American nationality. If this is the case she will be related to one of my grandmother’s brothers who decided to leave the shores of England more than one hundred years ago to settle in Kansas City. As my grandmother had 11 brothers, I can see their descendents wondering how a far and distant relation somewhere in the middle of Switzerland is swindling them all out of their deserved legacy and there would be a little jealousy. They might try to kill me.

Of course, she might be a Swiss aunt, which is more likely as wealthy people were few and far between amongst my English tribe. They had difficulties in counting to more than one hundred and a million would not be conceivable.

We are left with the Swiss relation, who is rolling in money and decided to leave it to the wife of her favourite nephew, knowing that it would be in capable hands. Nothing easier you might think, but you live in Switzerland according to Swiss law. In England you can leave your money to whom you wish: a cat home, dog home, even a needy person you might meet on the street who lives in a cardboard box under a bridge. Why not, you are doing something sensible with your money and not passing it on to some strange relative you do not know that would spend it on useless objects, such as a house, a car, clothes, even a gold plated fountain pen.

According to Swiss Law there is a way of doing things. There is a hierarchy to be maintained. I am not a lawyer, but have seen the way the cookie can crumble in this land of fondue, banks and mountains. This strange aunt might have a husband, son or daughter and this would complicate things. Your fortune is gradually shrinking, the numbers becoming transparent. First of all, according to Swiss law, the husband receives one half, and then the rest is divided amongst the surviving children. You might be lucky and this aunt took precautions to keep her nearest relations safe. A marriage contract might exist. In this case the husband  receives two thirds of the money and the rest is divided amongst the children. She can set certain children on a minimum and so the might be more available for the rest. This is roughly how it works, it is not possible to throw you money into any favourable corner if you are rich, live in Switzerland and die. There are rules to be followed. I would add I am not an expert of Swiss inheritance law, but it goes in this direction somehow.

My chance is now dwindling considerably. There is another little hook on this whole fishing rod. The rich aunt might have debts. All rich people have debts, they are rich because they have debts, this is logical. In Switzerland your debts do not die with you, they hang in the laws of the country like a Damocles sword, waving over your head and telling you they have to be paid before you see a cent of your million.

The funeral must be paid for which is first on the list. Of course the near family pay this from their inheritance. We already have minus a few thousand dollars. The rich aunt might have a mortgage on her villa and so the villa must be sold to be able to release and divide the funds amongst the money grabbing poor relations. Perhaps the aunt acquired her fortune by dabbling In stocks and shares. Now the state intervenes to see how she dabbled and where she dabbled.

Eventually things will be settled and your million dollars have now dwindled to a few thousand, but do not despair.

You might be lucky and your aunt invested in offshore business: a nice little account hidden somewhere in the Cayman Islands. Yes, the fortune is again becoming a tangible source. Do not ask me how that one works, but I am sure there are a few law companies in the Caymans that would be only too happy to oblige.

So I have now returned from a trip to the Caymans, have transferred my million dollars to my Swiss bank account and can begin to buy. I buy my longed for macro lens for my Nikon DSLR camera. I buy my felines their own cat park where they can roam to their hearts content; their own mouse enclosure, bird filled trees and a continuous supply of food. I will remain in Switzerland as I would qualify for a numbered bank account, allowing for tax evasion. I would have enough money to employ a lawyer to do all the dodgy work. You might miss me, as my daily prompt writing will no longer be active. I will be too busy counting the interest gathering on my million dollars.

To be quite honest, I have no longed for buys. I would just take it as it comes. At my age it is safer. The first heart attack might be just around the corner, and all this excitement about a million dollars would give me the rest. Oh, I forgot, I would of course buy 365 WordPress t-shirts, one for every day of the year in various colours. I always longed for a WordPress t-shirt.

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1 comment:

  1. I would start with the assumption that all the law and family-related matter are already out of the way and I have the $1million. I would be off to travel the world, but I would take my tablet with me to remain in touch with all my friends. Who knows....I might even drop by and visit each and every one of them, in all corners of the world!!