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Field trip!

Today we went to Scotney Castle (click the pic to embiggen and becolor), which is actually two houses. This one, which is mostly a ruin, is Medieval. And up the hill, the family built a new, modern manse in 1837.

The last residents were childless. He left the house to the National Trust on his death, thirty years ago. His wife decided she was going to live to 99. So the gardens have been open to visitors for years, but the house only for three. Hence there’s an eerie sense of her about the place.

The last survivor is her cat, who was provided for in the will and still skulks about the place (but makes herself scarce during visiting hours).

And I thought Charlotte was spoiled!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 23, 2010, 10:48 pm

Photo credit: Uncle B.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 23, 2010, 11:08 pm

Lovely picture, and nice color values, but oddly enough. . .I think it is better in black and white.

Oh, yeah, animal trusts! What a pain to set up and administer! Not that I don’t understand the concern about what will happen to the animals that depend on you, if you just disappear, but, well. . .

Did you once blog about the Hemingway Cats http://www.hemingwayhome.com/HTML/our_cats.htm or did I read about them somewhere else?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 23, 2010, 11:16 pm

No, I haven’t blogged about it. I knew about them, though — most of them are double-pawed, aren’t they?

I take it you’ve administered an animal trust?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 23, 2010, 11:40 pm

Well, I think they have extra claws or something. And no, thank fortune, I have not administered an animal trust; reading the case law in law school was enough for me! I have gently talked a client or two out of setting up a formal trust for their housepets, although in the last ten years or so New York State law has been amended to provide a vehicle to do that. Honestly–if you have a friend or relative you can trust to take care of the animal for its own sake, you might as well just leave them some money outright and ask them to make sure that Kippy is taken care of. If you don’t have anyone you can trust, giving them money. . .’nough said?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 23, 2010, 11:54 pm

‘Course, while we’re on the subject. . .it probably takes a (female) lawyer to go “Harumph!” over “[h]e left the house to the National Trust on his death. . .” Dower! Curtesy! Entailment! The Rule Against Perpetuities!

Mind you, I’ve also had male clients who had trouble with the concept that they should share ownership and really ought to leave the house and their money outright to the wife. But not many. Actually, fewer than I have had “clients in couple” who wanted their property held in trust until their kids were 40.

People can be very strange when it comes to the intersection between stuff and relationships.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 23, 2010, 11:59 pm

Heh. The property had been in his family for hundreds of years, but she married into it in the Thirties. That’s what I was thinking — that it wasn’t her ancestral home.

They had her wedding stuff on display, incidentally — photos, telegrams, invites, her dress.

Comment from Allen
Time: June 24, 2010, 12:08 am

Great photo, I can’t decide whether I like the B&W or the colour one better. Did ya catch the Britishism -our. Ha.

Can’t Hark, darn you harshed my whole plan to do something totally whacky after I shuffle off. I was going to leave the wolf to the horses, the horses to the cats, and my property to Jimmy Buffet, that investment guy. 🙂

I know what you’re talking about, my fiancee and I have a tremendous amount of bull hockey to deal with to get all our property jointed up.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 24, 2010, 12:21 am

Oh, please, Allen, don’t listen to me. You want to do something truly spectacular with animal survival, and you can find a lawyer to draft it, go for it. Mind you. . .my encouragement may in part be in due to the knowledge that a professional colleague (NOT brother!) will be raking in the dollars for years after you go over that one.

And, look, not my business, but if I can make a comment. . .I am a lawyer, but I am also a Mediator (and I gotta tell you that becoming a mediator 10 years ago, after almost 20 years of lawyering, really helped me avoid lawyer burnout). If the bull hockey just consists of signing deeds and getting opinions of tax counsel, and that sort of irritating nonsense, well, go with God, and my sympathies. But if any part of it consists of trying to work out what should be done and how with which property, because there are conflicting opinions. . .seriously consider engaging the services of a competent mediator. This is not to dis lawyers (I wouldn’t do that, for obvious reasons), but a lawyer has a responsibility to represent the client’s interests, which sometimes (!) results in unnecessarily adversarial interactions. A mediator’s responsibility is to help the parties to talk with each other, the ultimate goal being the development of the parties, by themselves, of a plan that meets the needs of each party.

Sigh. Sorry, Stoaty, didn’t mean to hijack the thread for a professional advert.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 24, 2010, 12:24 am

Jimmy Buffet, that investment guy

Oh, man! I have always been a slow thinker, and sometimes a slow processor. After the above post, I went back to read yours again (to make sure my comment was actually responsive and on point) and damn near died laughing. I guess it all blew up in Missoula. . .investments my eye!

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: June 24, 2010, 2:37 am

Pretty! Looks just like it fell off a Thomas Kinkade painting. Speaking of whom, it seems he’s hada few problems lately.

Comment from mommer
Time: June 24, 2010, 3:04 am

I went there once. It was back in the eighties and the house was closed. But the gardens were awesome and some club of sweet little old ladies was having a fushia sale. It was a wonderful warm day so we forgot to close the sunroof that night on the rental car and it rained. Evidently, summer had been the day before.

I really liked England, the southeast corner the best and would love to go see all again. Someone told me that they hate Americans now. Whatever, I’d go just to piss them off iffen I had the moolah.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: June 24, 2010, 3:08 am

Chortle. Giggle. Guffaw. The “painter of light” got lit up, eh? This will please my artist mother no end. Sweet, grey-haired, Jane Bennett-like in her toleration for human foibles, and she hates Kinkaide with the heat of a thousand suns. If my mom doesn’t like him he *must* be evil. Or at least a really bad artist.

Comment from nbpundit
Time: June 24, 2010, 3:15 am

Tunbridge Wells, haven’t been there since……well
…mumble mumble…

Comment from Allen
Time: June 24, 2010, 4:35 am

Can’t Hark, the funny part is I exactly got your mediator thing. Which is part of the things we have to do. The property is pretty straightforward, deeds, wills, that sort of stuff. I joke around a lot.

We do however have to take care of some things I agreed to with a seperate nation within the US. They’re not real fond of what they call “white man’s laws.” Sharing land, water, access, fences, all that kind of thing.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: June 24, 2010, 8:30 am

Kinkade is horrific. Someone should do something about him.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 24, 2010, 10:55 am

No, no mommer. I’ve never encountered the slightest hostility here. The closest I’ve come is an Asian taxi driver in London…and even he was politely disparaging of George Bush. His attitude seemed to be “you have a passport, so you must be a lefty, too.”

Most people who hear my accent get all excited and want to tell me about their vacation in Las Vegas or their nephew in Iowa.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: June 24, 2010, 6:35 pm

I can’t wait to see how my daughter is received when she heads over the pond for grad school in September…especially since she’s doing her Master’s on the Colonisation of America…in England. Could be loads of fun for her, yes?

But knowing her she’ll have the local accent picked up in about a half hour, and nobody will even notice she’s a furriner. I’m gonna have to smack the British accent out of her when she comes home, I fear.

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