An Estate Attorney Goes to the Theater

Big Daddy… What is it that makes him so big? His big heart, his big belly, or his big money?” –  Brick Pollitt, character in the “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” My husband and I saw Tennessee William’s play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Fulton Theatre. Many may ask, what does estate planning have to do with theatre? The theme of… Read More

Dendrology at the Forestry School

dendrology diagram of leaves

Dendrology (Ancient Greek: δένδρον, dendron, “tree”; and Ancient Greek: -λογία, -logia, science of or study of) or xylology (Ancient Greek: ξύλον, ksulon, “wood”) is the science and study of wooded plants (trees, shrubs, and lianas), specifically, their taxonomic classifications. There are three ways to identify trees – the leaves, the bark and the general shape. So say’s my Daddy’s Dendrology course book. Circa 1945. Returning from… Read More

Money makes the world go ’round. Or does it?

pride and prejudice movie poster

In Pride and Prejudice, because of the entail on Longbourn and the Bennets being blessed with five daughters and no sons, it’s all about the money. Mr. Bennet has the life tenancy at Longbourn. That gives him lifetime occupancy and an income from rents paid by the farmers. It was not much, but kept him on the right side of the line dividing the gentry… Read More

August 23, 2017 Hershey Trust Company Announces Sale of 4.5 million shares of the Hershey Company

4.5 million shares sounds like a lot until you realize the trust will still have 60.6 million shares of the Hershey Company.  According to Penn Live 3 million of the shares are being purchased by Morgan Stanley and 1.5 million shares are being bought back by The Hershey Company.  The purchase price for the company buy-back is $106 per share. We don’t know what the price for Morgan Stanley’s purchase is… Read More

The Entail as a Plot Device

Downton Abbey

If you’re a fan of PBS’s historical period drama Downton Abbey, then you know what an entailed estate is. The legal title to the country estate, Downton Abbey, is to pass only to “heirs male.” Unfortunately Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, and his wife Cora have three daughters and no sons. The oldest daughter Mary is to marry a distant cousin who is the… Read More

Milton Hershey, the Man

Milton S. Hershey was born on September 13, 1857 to a German-Mennonite family in south-central Pennsylvania. As a young boy, Hershey was a poor student, and after transferring among seven different schools, he dropped out before reaching the fourth grade.  He was apprenticed to a Lancaster County confectioner and launched several candy businesses.  In 1886, he opened the Lancaster Caramel Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which… Read More

Clinton’s Murder

“Hey Suzy! Somebody killed Clinton Shank!“ exclaimed my father over the phone. “Oh my god.” I was shocked. “Yep. Somebody killed Clinton and it looks like murder.” “Oh my god what happened?” “Well, the state police were just here.” “You mean at our house?” “Yes, they wanted to talk to me.” “Oh my god! Are you a suspect?” “No, I don’t think so. They know… Read More

The Interview – Written by Spence

I needed a housekeeper.  My housekeeper of eight years was in rehab, or jail, or both.  Don’t get me wrong, he is a very nice guy and I still count him as a friend.  But nevertheless, he wasn’t in a position to clean my house.  Not to mention do the laundry, tidy up after me and help cook if I was in a tight spot.… Read More

The Belton Estate

The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope was written in 1865. Clara Amedroz is the only surviving child of Squire Bernard Amedroz, the current tenant in possession under a fee tail male of the Belton Estate. Her brother, who would have been the heir, through dissipation and extravagances has forced the squire to pay all of his income and savings to pay the son’s debts. Then… Read More

What Is A Trust?

A trust is a creature of English common law, originally devised to avoid the reversion of lands to the crown and the strictures of primogeniture. Legal scholars have struggled to give a definition. There is a famous definition from a law book that describes a trust negatively by listing all the things it is not. A trust is not a bailment, a trust is not… Read More