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Re: A problem with anonymity
Scott Brickner's example has fairly close analogies today.
Corporations, cash, and assets with variable value are already useful.
Alice is the dying parent who runs a business or has a good credit-rating.
Bob is the irresponsible kid, Carol is the about-to-be unlucky creditor.
Alice borrows lots of money from Carol, tells Bob that it's in the
mattress / numbered Swiss Bank Account / collection of $$$$ artwork at home.
Alice dies, and Bob absconds with the money (probate isn't needed for
Swiss bank accounts or unrecorded stuff in mattresses) or sells the paintings
to the highest bidder of Dave, Eve, and Freddie (with a bribe to all of them,
and a kickback from Dave when he finally sells the painting for its real value.)
(Or maybe it's not bribery and kickbacks, he's just a major shareholder
in the Glorkspitz corporation, which is a major shareholder in their
Carol is stuck trying to get money out of The Alice Estate, which turns
out to be surprisingly broke. If she lent the money to The Alice Company
(which looks more creditworthy than Chronologically Challenged Widow Alice),
Alice would have had to leave Bob the yellow-sticky with the store safe
instead of leaving the cash in her mattress.
Now, one reason we have probate courts is to try to stop this sort of fraud,
making sure creditors get paid and heirs get their shares. Another reason,
of course, is to make sure "Uncle" Sammy gets to inherit part of it,
even though he's not a relative. (That's of course one of the reasons for
having Swiss bank accounts you didn't remember to mention on your tax forms,
fireproof mattresses, foreign corporations, and friends in the art dealer
Does good anonymity make this easier? Sure. And if all the heirs are
they can conspire to rip off their parents' creditors, if they're dishonest,
or at least to avoid taxes, if they're not tax-believers. Of course, if they're
dishonest, they'll have plenty of opportunities without having anybody die,
and that'll probably affect bankruptcy law and increase Federal
for watching the money supply long before anonymous estate ripoffs become
# Thanks; Bill
# Bill Stewart, Freelance Information Architect, [email protected]
# Phone +1-510-247-0664 Pager/Voicemail 1-408-787-1281