A Will, A Wellington, a very long Wait, and a lot of Wealth!

In today’s video, we are going to be discussing the strange case of the Will of Wellington Burt.

Here is the common misconception about Wills. If a Will is present, people believe that it make things go nice and fast right. Correct? Well, not always.

In our years of helping families find and receive their Inheritance, we’ve seen lots of Wills. Some are pretty simple. They’re pretty straightforward as to who should be Executor and who inherits what. Nobody fights over it. The whole process of everyone getting their Inheritance can be over within a few months. Nice and easy.

But not every case works like that. Take, for example, the strange case of Wellington Burt.


Burt was a Michigan lumber tycoon and one of the eight wealthiest men in America when he died in 1919. Apparently, Burt believed in taking care of his progeny, just not the ones he already knew and didn’t like. He instead commanded that his estate would go to his descendants 21 years after a certain event.

That event was the death of the last grandchild who was already born in 1919. Well, that last grandchild, Marion Lansill, didn’t pass away until 1989. Which meant that Burt’s fortune would not be distributed until 2010. At that point, Burt’s twelve living descendants, including a nineteen year old girl in Kentucky, became instant millionaires.


Burt’s case is obviously an extreme one but, trust me, it’s not a given that a Will makes things easy and simple. For example, a Will can contain vague language or it can be contrary to oral promises the deceased made when alive.

Of course, if the Heirs are agreeable and can resolve any differences, that will go a long way towards making the process go smoother and faster, not to mention less expensive. After all, attorneys don’t come cheap.

The moral of the story? Don’t believe everything you hear about Wills.


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