Good evening and welcome to tonight’s seminar, Estate Planning for the Undead. Our presentation will comprise three sessions: Part 1 – Zombies, Part 2 – Vampires, and Part 3 – Ghosts, Demons, and Assorted Incorporeal Beings. We will have a 15 minute break after each session, so if you are interested only in Part 2 or Part 3 you may leave now and return for the session you are interested in. Keep your mobile devices handy and we’ll tweet at the break. Please note, however, that once a new session has started the doors will be shut, bolted, and barred. Of course, you are welcome to remain for all three sessions at no additional charge.
Before you decide, I should caution you that the legal definition of “undead” varies widely depending on where you live and as new legislation is pending will likely change even more over the next few years. And currently in most jurisdictions ghosts, demons, and incorporeal beings are legally dead, not undead. If you have not already transitioned to one of those states, you should carefully consider staying for Parts 1 and 2.
Right then, if you don’t wish to participate in Part 1 – Zombies, please take your leave now so we can secure the doors. And those of you who are staying, help yourself to a complimentary bottle of water and settle in.
Okay, everyone comfortable? Let me welcome you again to Estate Planning for the Undead, Part 1 – Zombies. For most people, becoming a zombie is not a condition they choose. After the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their guidelines on Zombie Preparedness, we developed a comprehensive plan for dealing with the financial hardships your family is likely to face if you turn into a brain-hungry derelict. Similar to the “living wills” which have long been used by those who face the misfortune of a persistent vegetative state, we recommend what we call an Unliving WillTM to protect the interests of your family and yourself.
Here’s the rub, traditionally zombies fail to maintain jobs or support their families in any way. But they still consume resources and they increase the costs of maintaining public health and safety. Besides, they’re still up and walking around 24-7, creating panic and blocking traffic. So most jurisdictions are reluctant to classify them as legally dead in order to keep them financially responsible for the costs to the community. And since the zombies aren’t going to step up and pay the bills, that burden falls to their families.
The reason you want the Unliving WillTM in place before you become a zombie is because most courts are likely to find you mentally incompetent after the transition and therefore you will be unable to make such a determination for yourself. By the look [and smell] of some of you in the audience tonight I fear it may already be too late, but we will have financial counselors available for individual consultation next door as soon as we take our first break. Don’t give up hope. This happens more often than you might think and it’s the main reason we do the zombie session first.
I want to mention a common clause you should consider putting in your Unliving WillTM, the termination clause. Just as many living wills include your preference on “pulling the plug” if it comes to that, your Unliving WillTM should clearly state your preference on pulling the trigger. Of course, if you are dispatched by someone acting in self defense — if you were trying, for example, to rip off one of their limbs and or eat their brains at the time — the point becomes moot. While this isn’t strictly speaking a financial consideration, it is a common way to end the financial burden on your family, not to mention the continued threat to their health and well-being. This clause is controversial for a number of legal, ethical, moral, emotional, and religious reasons so you’ll need to do some soul searching — assuming you have one — to determine what is best for you and your loved ones.
Okay, so this ends Part 1 of our seminar. The financial consultants will be available next door throughout the evening. You’re welcome to meet with them now or following either of the two remaining sessions. Feel free to get up and stretch your legs, just make sure you’re back before the end of the break if you want to attend Part 2 – Vampires. The seminar will resume in 15 minutes. Gentlemen, open the doors.
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