Monday, September 15

Sprinkle my ashes or else Planned Parenthood gets $50k

It's been six weeks since Bruce E. Ivins, the alledged anthrax suspect, killed himself. However, his cremated remains are still stored at a funeral home in Maryland awaiting bizarre probate proceedings.

According to The New York Times:

In a will he wrote last year, a few months before the Federal Bureau of Investigation focused the anthrax letters investigation on him, Dr. Ivins wrote of his wish to be cremated and have his ashes scattered. But fearing that his wife, Diane, and their two children might not honor the request, he came up with a novel way to enforce his demand: threatening to make a bequest to an organization he knew his wife opposed, Planned Parenthood.

“If my remains are not cremated and my ashes are not scattered or spread on the ground, I give to Planned Parenthood of Maryland” $50,000, Dr. Ivins wrote in the will. Court records value the estate at $143,000.

Ms. Ivins is a former president of Frederick County Right to Life, according to F.B.I. records. Bruce Ivins played keyboards at a Catholic church in Frederick and described himself in e-mail messages as “pro-life,” but he was not an anti-abortion activist, said his lawyer, Paul F. Kemp. Ms. Ivins declined to comment, Mr. Kemp said.
I'm not sure if I've ever heard of a donor who uses his/her will to encourage action by threatening to make a donation to a group that the surviving heirs hated.

I think I'm going to add an addendum to my Last Will and Testament today that my heirs need to continue this blog once I die or else...


TJT said...

This brings up an additional question: in the event that the 50k was to be given to Planned Parenthood, should they accept the gift? Is "philanthropy by spite" an appropriate precedent for a non-profit to set? Fifty thousand dollars would be tempting for ANY organization, but to me, the means by which they would be gotten is disgusting. I'd be interested to see if PP has responded to this story.

Anonymous said...

One more twist in what is a very sad story.