Are you familiar with the popular television show Shark Tank? Shark Tank features aspiring entrepreneurs pitching their investment ideas to seasoned investors like Barbara Corcoran. Corcoran actually refuses to do business with children of wealthy parents, citing her belief that: “[E]ntrepreneurs from a privileged background don’t have the need to have their business succeed, and that can make all the difference when their back is against the wall.”

That may not be true for all rich children, but it certainly rings true in the case of 40 year-old Robert Wilcox.

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Last Will and Testament, Generous Legacy

Teaching is not normally thought of as a lucrative position; in fact, it’s considered to a be a profession that people go into because they are “passionate” about teaching. It comes as a shock, then, when some professors and teachers leave behind a fortune – and a great legacy – to their students, their communities and themselves. 

There have been several cases of teachers who have become wealthy through various means, such as successful investments, inventions, or writing books. Here are a few examples:

  1. Robert W. Wilson – Wilson was a high school teacher in New York City who became a successful investor and philanthropist. He started investing in the stock market in the 1960s and became known for his value investing strategy. He ultimately became a billionaire and donated hundreds of millions of dollars to various charitable causes before his death in 2013.
  2. Jay Sivin-Kachala – Sivin-Kachala was a high school teacher in Texas who invented a computer program that allowed teachers to create and grade multiple-choice tests quickly and easily. He eventually sold the program to a testing company for millions of dollars and became a millionaire himself.
  3. Jaime Escalante – Escalante was a high school math teacher in Los Angeles who became famous for his success in teaching calculus to disadvantaged students. His story was depicted in the movie “Stand and Deliver.” Although he did not become wealthy himself, his success as a teacher and his impact on his students has inspired countless people.

Add to that list a man by the name Ted Danner. A late UBC professor. how much did he leave behind to the school and why did he do it? Read on below to find out what he bequeathed  to UBC in his Last Will and Testament.

These examples demonstrate that teachers can become wealthy through a variety of means, and that education and knowledge can be valuable assets in many different fields.

Canadian savings plans

 If you’ve ever dreamed of winning a fortune through the lottery or inheriting millions through some rich deceased relative, then you’ll probably find this story interesting:

Marlena and Victoria Laboz are the daughters of the now deceased New York real estate magnate Maurice Laboz. They are both set to inherit $24 million dollars (out of a $37 million dollar fortune) in the wake of their father’s death in 2015, but only if they follow the strict rules and conditions set out in his Last Will and Testament. This isn’t just another story of some young kids who squandered their fortune, but an interesting case study of how those who are deceased can still affect the lives of their loved ones from beyond the grave.

Both Marlena (age 21) and her sister, Victoria (age 17), have a laundry list of rules to follow if they want to see a penny of their late father’s money before the age of 35. They are set to receive $10 million by the age of 35 but that money could roll in earlier, IF they follow these rules:

1) Both daughters receive $500,000 upon marriage prior to the age of 35 IF their husbands agree to sign a prenuptial agreement.

2) Each daughter receives another $750,000 if she a) graduates from an accredited university, and b) writes a 100-word essay on what she plans to do with that cash (the trustees appointed by her father are supposed to voice their approval before releasing those funds).

3) If gainfully employed by the year 2020, the two siblings are each set to receive three times their annual income (as listed on their tax returns).

4) They earn the same amount if they stay at home, to be caregivers to their mother.

5) If one (or both) sibling chooses not to work (because neither of them will have to) AND they have children, they will continue to receive 3% of the value of their trust.

The remainder of Laboz’s estate and assets will be given to charitable organizations.

Unsurprisingly, Marlena and Victoria are unhappy with this situation, and as of August 2015, they brought the matter to court to contest the Will. Joining the sisters is their mother, who was cut out of Laboz’s Will prior to his death (Laboz was in the midst of divorcing his wife when he died). It’s unclear how much money she is seeking from her late ex-husband’s estate.

On the one hand, a Testator has the right to lay down the rules of how he or she wants his money allocated, but on the other hand, should the pair have to jump through a series of hoops in order to effectively claim their father’s legacy?

Life Insurance money, In the red?, What age do you think you'll retire?

Canadians are financially struggling; there is no doubt about it. Obviously managing your finances in a time after the 2008 recession, the global pandemic and an economic downturn is more difficult than they were in the previous decades. But Canadians may not be as financially savvy as they think they are. 

One study showed that Canadians would rather talk to their children about sex than money. That is not surprising, given the fact that a) parents don’t want their children to worry about the state of households they live in and b) parents like to feel as though they are the protectors of their children. The study, conducted by the Bank of Montreal, showed that 56% of Canadians felt they would benefit from a financial literacy course. Many Canadians may not know where to go and feel squeeze in-between paying off their bills, mortgage/rent, investments, and other things. There is little left at the end of the month. 

If you’re looking to plan your estate, you had better ensure that your finances are in order. How well do you arrange your daily finances? How often do you indulge? Do you consider yourself financially literate? Checkout this interesting article on financial literacy: Financially savvy, are you?