Okay, everybody — and I use the term “body” loosely — we’re ready to start the final session of our seminar. Welcome to Estate Planning for the Undead, Part 3 – Ghosts, Demons, and Assorted Incorporeal Beings. I’m glad to see such a spirited group. Help yourselves to the complimentary milk and cookies while we secure the doors.
I see the audience has thinned out quite a bit, as usual. Part 1 – Zombies and Part 2 – Vampires always attract a different sort of crowd than this session. But I feel we’ve saved the best for last, and I say that because it’s true, not just because I don’t want a stream of apparitions in my room every night. Which is also true.
Anyway, let’s get the bad news out of the way first. I mentioned at the start of the evening that in most jurisdictions incorporeal beings are legally dead, not undead. If you think that having a soul — that you might be the very personification, if not incarnation, of a soul — would count in your favor, remember that most politicians are soulless, having bargained it away early in their careers. The laws are unlikely to change in your favor.
On the other hand, not having a body and thereby having none of those pesky physical needs frees you from most financial considerations as well. Hell, if you’re not picky about who or where you haunt, you really have no need of financial planning beyond the normal provisions for your loved ones at the time of your demise. Obviously, for some of you that train has sailed.
But for those of you who are not yet departed, and I don’t mean just that you’re still appearing here in the room, and want to protect your interests in the afterlife we recommend our You Know You WillTM. It won’t keep the specter of financial ruin at bay indefinitely, but it will give you a pretty good run with the haunt of your choice.
While I’m thinking about it, let me mention another common fallacy. If any of you are harboring Mrs. Muir fantasies, trust me, it never happens that way in real life. Or death. Besides, looking around the room I can safely say… I knew Rex Harrison, and you are no Rex Harrison. Forgive me for being blunt, but we see those kinds of expectations more often than you might think.
But, returning to my main point, let’s say you want to maintain the family homestead as your favorite haunt. Contrary to what is usually portrayed in the media, you can’t really require your heirs to spend a number of nights in the house before they inherit just so you can terrorize them. As much fun as that might be — and let’s face it, it would be a hoot and a half — it’s completely unenforceable. What you can do with our You Know You WillTM is set up a corporate trust that inherits the property and rents it out. Granted, this is not without risk.
Your “loved” ones may not move in no matter how attractive you make the terms. And if you repeatedly scare away tenants eventually the trust will run out of money. Even if the property is paid for there are still taxes to consider and eminent domain is alive and well. But in our experience you can usually maintain control for at least several decades. And to be honest, we’ve found that most of our clients get bored haunting the same old place year in and year out. Some move on. Some just fade away.
Haunting a person instead of a house is a bit trickier, but this may be of special interest to any demons here tonight. The You Know You WillTM can help you too. What you need is some object that your intended victim inherits from you. Make sure it’s something they are likely to keep. As long as they possess it, you can possess them. Let me emphasize here that whatever objets d′art you spent your life collecting are usually a poor choice. A love of mid-century bobble head salt and pepper shakers is rarely, if ever, inherited. You might as well dispose of those things while you are still alive. We usually recommend things with both historical and personal significance to the victim — er, loved one. Or jewelry. The Hope diamond, for example, has worked spectacularly well. And that illustrates another point, the demonic properties may be transferable. This is especially useful if you have haunted your original victim to his or her grave — the fun continues!
I should add a cautionary note here, though. If you haunt a person, they may retaliate in their afterlife. You may have made their remaining years a living hell, but they can make your death a hell. Forever. That’s way longer than you had to get them. Karma’s a bitch. She couldn’t be here tonight, but I promised to bring that up on her behalf.
Okay, so this ends our seminar. The financial consultants will be available next door for another hour or so. You’re welcome to meet with them now or make an appointment to meet in our offices later this week. Thank you all for attending. I hope you found the evening to be informative and maybe a little entertaining. Gentlemen, open the doors.
At midnight, the sales team and financial consultants from Undead Estate Planning gathered once more in the meeting room. The mood was light and jubilant. The seminar had provided a good number of souls as prospective clients. They formed a circle. And vanished.
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