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One More Example of Why You Need a Will

Posted by Chris Peterson | Jan 05, 2013 | 0 Comments

One More Example of Why You Need a Will

Walter Samasko Jr., a reclusive resident of Carson City Nevada, was found dead earlier this year after neighbors reported a foul smell coming from his home.  As the house was being cleaned for sale, officials made a surprising discovery:  gold bars and coins valued at approximately $7.4 million.

Samasko only had about $200 in his bank accounts and apparently died without a will.

The gold was found stored in boxes in the garage and in the house, some with mints from Mexico, England, Austria and South Africa that date to 1872, according to ABC News. Some of the boxes were marked “books” and some of the gold was wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in ammunition boxes.

Neighbors described Samasko as “anti-government,” though his lack of relatives and failure to make a will before he died might indicate otherwise.

As soon as Samasko's treasure hit the evening news and internet, purported heirs came out of the woodwork, including a Florida man who, according to the Las Vegas Sun, swore he was a secret agent who forgot he was related to Samasko due to a severe head injury.

Thankfully, a true heir has been identified: Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover said it took a month's worth of genealogical research to certify that Arlene Magdon of California is Samasko's first cousin and only living relative.

The moral of the story:  Make a will before it's too late.  What if Samasko had a favorite charity he wanted to receive his fortune?  What if he really hated his only living relative?  What if he wanted to leave his estate in trust for the benefit of the children of his favorite elementary school teacher?  Samasko missed a golden opportunity to define his legacy.  Don't miss your chance.

If you need help with estate planning including making a will or devising a trust, or updating your will or trust, your best course of action is to contact an experienced Bryan, Texas estate planning attorney at the Peterson Law Group. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 979-703-7014.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.


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