Thursday, April 05, 2012

A Story About a Cat, But Not Really


Via MSN:

Her owner died last December, and a 20-year-old will stipulated any cats the woman owned at the time of her death be euthanized. But trust officers at Fifth Third Bank in charge of, um, executing the will, couldn't bring themselves to carry out the request. So they went to court.

The story is followed by a lot of feel-good reader comments, including a few of the "I would certainly do business with this bank!" variety.

Really?

The cat's late owner placed a good deal of trust in the bank, so much so that she designated it to execute her will (a job for which it is presumably to be compensated, and pursuant to which it has probably been compensated for related past business).

But instead of executing her will, the bank went to court to overturn it. The bank sued to get out of its freely undertaken contractual obligations to a customer.

Yes, cats are cute and fuzzy, but that doesn't mean our thinking about this issue should be fuzzy too.

Would you really trust this institution to execute your will (after you are, obviously, no longer around to keep tabs on them and make sure they do so properly)?

What if they decide that the money you designated for your children should instead be donated to a local homeless shelter? Or spent on a Vegas holiday?

They've just publicly proven that if they don't like what you decide, they'll go to court to get what they want instead.

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