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美國.洛杉磯

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狗比兒子還親?

--一個美國富孀的遺囑風波

湯本

美國是個大千世界,個人自由和法律捍衛個人意志的自由,更是造成一個大千世界。

622日,成為CNN 頭條新聞的去世老婦(Gail Posner)遺囑風波,驚動全美國,這個富孀在她的遺囑中,由她的兩個愛犬獲得包括3百萬信託基金在內的總計2600萬美元的遺產,(Combined, the aides, including body guards and housekeepers, were left $26 million and one was given the right to live in the mansion to care for the dogs.)而他的兒子只有分得一百萬美元。

狗比兒子還親?CNN驚呼這條狗繼承人的新聞,即便在人情淡薄的美國,也是如何驚天動地,如何前所未有。

新聞報導離奇事件,新聞渲染神奇遺囑,這個新聞反映了美國真實社會現象。

兒子(Brett Carr)憤憤不平,這個好萊塢的電影製作人,立即將母親的所有僕人告上法庭,是這些僕人隔絕了孝順兒子與其愛母之間的天倫之紐帶,深厚之親情。是這些僕人在他母親病重時,不讓她接聽他做一個兒子的問候的電話。是他們操縱了母親的臨終遺囑,我當兒子的,一定要告他們,奪回我兒子的權利。兒子真是憤怒滿腔:這些僕人們包括私人保鏢,利用母親愛犬心情,竊取了得以繼續居住在母親豪宅的權利,使用遺產基金的權利。他們繼續賺他們工資,過他們伺候母親兩隻愛犬的舒適生活。

這個Brett Carr先生,真是沒有面子,不跟自己母親的狗爭個高低,不跟這幫喪盡天良的狗奴才們爭高低,他這個堂堂好萊塢電影製作人的,真是會容顏掃地,真是會死不瞑目,當然,一定要法庭上鬥爭,死不罷休!

來吧,打官司,把你們打窮了再說,美國的律師本來就過剩,優秀的律師遇到這樣富婆遺產案子,也是喜氣洋洋,這在美國,也是不多的機會。

誠然,這個兒子可能有很多理由,在法律上,從他和他的律師角度,也是信心滿滿,大有不獲全勝,決不收兵的氣勢。

筆者自然,對誰是誰非,不做評價。但是作為社會現象,作為遺產糾紛,作為家庭文化,卻可以令人發發議論。在這個母親愛犬與電影製作兒子之間的法律戰爭,確實,反映出許多有趣也令人深思的問題。

下面的問題,不僅是具有家庭觀念的東方人會提出來,就是作為美國人,不管是共和黨,不管是民主黨人士,或者是無黨派人士,只要有一點點的家庭觀念和親情的人,都會提出來

母親為何如此絕情?母親也不會是一天內得了暴病而亡,而是人老力衰,疾病漸漸沉重而去世。那麼,當母親神誌清楚的時候,你作兒子的哪裡去了?

你作兒子的,在大學期間,有沒有每週或者每幾天,給母親或者家裡去電話,而不是需要錢的時候,才想起了父母?

你作兒子的,在工作期間,有沒有每週或者每幾天,給母親或者家裡去電話問候,而不是在聖誕節母親節父親節,才想起了父母?

你作兒子的,工作很忙,尤其是電影製作帶有強烈創造性的工作,是不是讓自己的妻子,孩子,如果沒有妻子孩子,讓自己的女朋友,或者男朋友,給一個孤獨老太太,打電話,問候問候,需要的時候,常常去看看?

你作兒子的,有沒有捨得花時間花錢,坐飛機攜帶全家人,攜帶你的愛犬愛貓,前往母親那裡,探視,過節,共享天倫之樂?

或許,這個兒子,沒有做到上面談到的事情,老太太就是要用這個遺囑,表達自己臨終的心情,讓全世界知道:在這個世界裡,狗最偉大,狗最重要,狗最忠誠,狗最愛我,自己的兒子不能像自己的愛犬貼心,兒子更不如自己的僕人和保鏢,站在身邊,盡心盡力。

或許,這個兒子,都做到了,而且是世界第一大孝子,但是,這個母親,卻毫不領情,仍然把大部分財產留給自己的兩隻狗,把金銀珠寶,留給死後伺候自己狗的僕人和保鏢。老太太究竟有什麼隱情?

或許,老太太就是如此性格,如果,老太太就是如此孤僻孤寡性格,作兒子,而且是作大孝子的兒子,你,還有必要把母親死後的遺囑風波,弄得喧喧嚷嚷,驚動她好不容易安定下來的亡魂?

或許,老太太就是平常心態,平常的思考,我的愛犬在我死後,不能沒有人照料,你作為兒子,給你一百萬,也已經是足夠,如果,你能照顧好我的愛犬,我能放心,我何不讓你這個孝順兒子來照顧?

大千世界的美國,金錢社會,寡情薄義,巨額財產歸於誰手,請看狗與人的法律之戰。

Gail Posner Left a $3 Million Trust Fund and Mansion to Her Dogs and Her Son is Pissed

Gail Posner was a member of one of Miami Beach's richest and most notorious families, but she died quietly in March without so much as an obit in the Herald and with most of her family refusing to comment. Now a legal battle is brewing surrounding her will that has led the Wall Street Journal to commission perhaps one of the oddest of its famed stipple portraits in the paper's history: that of a chihuahua in a bejeweled collar and a wig.

In her later life Posner had gone on something of a bizarre press rampage promoting her beloved pet chihuahua, Conchita, as the most spoiled dog in the world.

"We actually have made the decision not to get [Conchita] the Range Rover. Instead, I got a new car and gave her the Escalade. She, along with her two sisters, gets driven in it to and from their weekly puppy spa appointment, where they get manis and pedis. The Escalade is gold," Posner said in an interview last year with New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

Now Conchita and her "sisters" will be able to afford all the Range Rovers a rover could ever want. Posner left them a $3 million trust-fund and the right to continue living in her $8.3 million Miami Beach mansion.

Her only son, Brett Carr, only got $1 million and is disputing the will in court.

The case of Carr v. Conchita will not be headed to court; instead Carr is suing the personal aides who Posner surrounded herself with later in life that he believes took advantage of his sick mother and drastically changed her will.

Combined, the aides, including body guards and housekeepers, were left $26 million and one was given the right to live in the mansion to care for the dogs.

Household aides, he claims, drugged his sick mother with pain medications and conspired to steal her assets by inducing her to change her will and trust arrangements in 2008. Others, including his mother's trust attorney, he alleges, used their influence to bend her wishes. Mr. Carr, who was bequeathed a relatively paltry $1 million in his mother's will, makes the claims in a lawsuit filed last week in probate court in Miami-Dade County.

Among Mr. Carr's claims is that the aides directed a "deeply disturbed" Ms. Posner to hire a publicist to promote Conchita as "one of the world's most spoiled dogs"--complete with a four-season wardrobe, full-time staff and diamond jewelry. Mr. Carr's lawyer, Bruce Katzen, says he believes the publicity campaign was part of a "ruse" to explain why a large trust fund was needed to care for the dogs.

Disputes over inheritance are nothing new for the Posner clan. Gail and her twin brother Stephen sued the estate of their own father, Victor Posner, the notorious businessman who is considered the father of the leverage buy out, after much of the money was left to a former girlfriend and business associate.

June 26, 2010

 
 

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