Estate Planning Musts for Your Favorite ‘Game of Thrones’ Characters
By: Laura K. Meier, Esq.
You can imagine what it is like for me as an estate planning attorney watching ‘Game of Thrones’. I can’t help but think of all the ways things would really play out if the law wasn’t limited to killing someone, and then passing their titles and houses to their male next of kin.
With everyone at risk in Season 8 of sudden death and total destruction, here’s what type of estate planning your favorite character would want and need fast!
Cersei Lannister- Cersei is a prime candidate for having a Lifetime Asset Protection Trust because she is obsessed with keeping the family money and power in the Lannister family line. The Lifetime Asset Protection Trust would ensure that upon her death, the family fortune would be fully protected from any outsiders who marry in, creditors (think the Iron Bank), predators (too many to name) and divorce (if she does end up marrying Euron Greyjoy).
Jon Snow- What Jon Snow needs more than the Iron Throne and to stop accidently hooking up with his Aunt, is a really robust and unique living will. A living will is a legal document that states your end of life wishes if you are in a vegetative state and won’t recover. Most people declare in their living will that they would want to be removed from artificial life support in that case. But for Jon Snow, his living will should probably state that if he finds himself dead or near dead again, he wants all the medical intervention he can get until the Red Witch arrives.
Daenerys Targaryen- Everyone knows what our Mother of Dragons needs for her estate plan…a pet trust! Those Dragons needs to be fed with a slew of goats and sheep and whoever gets in Daenerys’ way. A good pet trust would allow her to leave money behind specifically earmarked to support her dragons’ care. In real life, we typically do this for our beloved horses and dogs, or because we are mad at our relatives.
Bran Stark- If Winterfell is anything like the U.S. Government, they would provide government benefits to those citizens who have a disability and do not have more than $2,000 in financial resources in their own name. So, for Bran who lost mobility in his legs because of his fall (yes, that was Jamie’s doing before we started rooting for him), Bran would need a special needs trust set up on his behalf so his family could pass their fortune to him without that inheritance being counted against him when applying for government benefits.
Arya Stark- Everyone knows that Arya loves Needle—her beloved sword that has carried her through and protected her from harm along the way. So, what Arya needs is a really great sword trust. In modern times, we call them gun trusts (unless you are that weird guy with a sword hanging on your bedroom wall at your parent’s house). The gun trust allows you to pass your weapon upon your death to someone else you’ve chosen and still comply with Federal, State, and Local gun laws.
Sansa Stark- Sansa for sure needs an estate plan as the Lady of Winterfell, but at this point more than anything, she just needs to enjoy the single life, or fall in love with a nice normal guy who isn’t going to traumatize her. Given her unfortunate past with terrible men, she should definitely have a strong prenuptial agreement and separate trust in place before marrying anyone, so no one can steal away her family fortune once she marries them.
Tyrion Lannister, Jamie Lannister, and Sam Tarly- These three all need a really great trust litigation attorney because all their family fortunes have fallen out of their hands. Tyrion needs an attorney to convince a judge that murdering his father should not exclude him from his inheritance (since you can’t inherit from someone you kill). Jamie needs an attorney to demand Cersei’s unborn child have a DNA test so he can prove the child and potential heir to the iron throne is his. And, Sam needs an attorney to fight on his behalf to inherit the Tarly estate now that his estranged father and brother have passed away. Even the best estate planning can’t always stop some of the crazy situations people in real life face.
All of them- What every one of our beloved ‘Game of Thrones’ characters needs, in addition to dragon glass, a shower, and a prayer, is a strong remote contingent beneficiary clause in their trust. This section of the trust specifies where assets go when there’s no one left in the family line. Given the Night King’s epic take down of the Wall and quest to destroy the living, these people are definitely going to need a back up plan if no one’s left in their family lines to inherit from them.
Now I don’t know what has been more time consuming, writing this ridiculous post or the fact that Josh and I just completely re-binged all 7 seasons of ‘Game of Thrones’. That’s right. Watched it again! Aside from having four awesome kids, we consider it one of our greatest accomplishments.
For all your real-life estate planning needs, give your California family trust attorneys at the Meier Law Firm in Newport Beach, CA and Cupertino, CA a call at (949) 718-0420 to schedule an initial Planning Session with us. Winter is coming for all of us (hopefully much, much later in life and not at the hands of a Whitewalker), so now is always the best time to set up your will, trust, and estate plan, to protect the people you love.
Mention this article and schedule your planning session by the end of May 2019, and we will waive the planning session fee for you!