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Bartleby The Scrivener’s Estate Plan


You know that you are old if you know that Moby Dick is a real book, no spring chicken if you know that the author’s name was Herman Melville, and ancient if you have actually read it.  In a world where people place less of a premium on things of extraordinary size, such as enormous whales and enormous books, Melville might be more famous today for another book with a memorable title, namely Bartleby the Scrivener, which is a much thinner volume than the aforementioned whale tale; its Wikipedia page even disagrees with itself about whether to consider it a novel or a short story.  The title character is a man who suddenly decides to do nothing and who continues, against all odds, to do nothing for the rest of his life, much to the chagrin of his employer, coworkers, and landlord and the local police.  When asked to do anything, he replies, “I would prefer not to.”  Eventually, while serving a jail sentence for vagrancy after refusing to leave the spot outside his former residence where he has been evicted, Bartleby decides that he would prefer not to eat, and he dies of starvation.  In an age where ambition seems futile, adopting Bartleby’s strategy of doing nothing is a useful thought exercise.  Once you are finished with this thought experiment, you will probably want to contact an Orlando estate planning lawyer.

Doing Nothing Can Be an Act of Rebellion, but Is It an Act of Estate Planning?

Millennials are not getting any younger, and we are the ones doom spending, quiet quitting, and joining the Great Resignation.  Why should we do otherwise when we will never achieve financial stability, no matter how hard we work?  What if we took this attitude of resignation and applied it to our estate plan?  What if we extended tonight’s episode of revenge bedtime procrastination indefinitely, until any job openings that might arise had already been filled by younger and less burned-out people?

When you have nothing and no one, life without an estate plan is not so different from life with one.  If you don’t have a spouse, children, or property, then the obvious choice is to move into a nursing home when you can no longer keep up with your share of the chores in the house you share with housemates.  Medicaid will pay, but it will also gobble up your Social Security check and give you a measly Personal Needs Allowance for incidental expenses.  When you die, what few possessions you have will go to the landfill unless someone more enterprising than you dumpster dives for them.  If any of your cousins or friends decide to open your estate for probate, Medicaid will take everything you have.

Of course, this can also happen if you do care about someone, but you decide not to take any action on your estate plan as a matter of principle.  It is worth contacting a lawyer to find out what is the least you can do to avoid causing stress and financial hardship for the people you love.

Contact Gierach and Gierach About Estate Planning for the Great Resignation Set

An estate planning lawyer can help you make a sensible estate plan if the pursuit of wealth and progeny is not for you.  Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.



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