When Chicago attorney Mike Whitty recently helped a client plot how to dispose of his considerable estate, the client imagined a big send-off for his prized vintage wines. He planned to write into his will that his friends and family would hold a casino night: Guests would each get a kitty of play money for gambling and end the evening bidding in a wine auction.
This is estate planning far from the drafting of endless documents detailing which friends get which bequests and minimizing taxes. Estate planning is usually not considered a particularly glamorous or intriguing part of financial planning, but it has its entertaining moments. Planners report that they occasionally have to walk a fine line between talking clients out of distasteful or even illegal estate planning techniques and facilitating eccentric requests.
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