Will to be read in 2163

Adolph Metzer loved cats and dogs. So, in his will, he gave $1000 to the city of Evanston, as well as to ten states, with the stipulation that the money be put in a bank account and not touched until 2163. By that time, he figured, his money would have grown to $201,559,641.30. All of which could be spent to help homeless cats and dogs.

I haven't been able to find out what happened to his money. My guess is that it's long gone.

Washington Post - Mar 13, 1913

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 14, 2020
     Category: Death | Law | 1910s

One hundred seven years...we are not quite half way there. It would be interesting to see how much is in the bank account after a century plus.
Posted by Patrick on 07/14/20 at 07:34 AM
I ran the initial investment amount through simple and compound interest rate calculators and find that the current amount in the account at an annual 3 percent interest rate (which is probably a generous figure considering current rates are around less than 1%) over the 107 years isn't any great amount - about $22,600 for the simple account and $19,000 for the compound account. The accounts would have benefited from periodic deposits over the years, but that was not mentioned in the article so I didn't include it.

Unfortunately, the compound calculator I found wouldn't calculate beyond 100 years. The simple calculator would do 250 years at the 3% rate, but the result was disappointing - 1.6 million dollars would be in the account, probably enough to buy a case of cat food and a small bag of kibble for the dogs.
Posted by KDP on 07/14/20 at 10:42 AM
The fallacy here is the impossibility of buying something in 2163 with 1913 dollars. That is, it ignores inflation; it ignores reality. The $202 MM is a totally fictional number, thrown out to catch attention. Doing it properly, in year 2163 dollars, you might get the value of a case of cat food and a bag of kibbles, like KDP says.
Also, he would have had to pay separately for some infallible structure (not "we promise") to keep it out of the hands of the governments over the 250 years. I'm guessing Alex's "long gone" is the correct result.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 07/14/20 at 12:20 PM
Abandoned property (e.g. a bank account with no activity) usually goes to the state.
Posted by ges on 07/14/20 at 08:42 PM
I've been told (as in, someone said something believable, and I had no reason to doubt them, and it's no skin off my nose if they were making it up as they went along, so I accept it at face value but probably wouldn't defend it if challenged) most states have an obscure regulation which allows the state treasury to accept such bequests and agree to the conditions, but what really happens is the money is thrown into the general fund, and when it comes time to fulfill the request (such as "$1,000 plus 250 years' interest to be spent on cat food"), the legislature ignores the note from the treasury about it and doesn't appropriate the funds. They don't even have to mention it in the annual budget bill.

If I remember correctly (which is not at all guaranteed, but I don't know who else might have mentioned such a thing), the guy who told me about it was on a kick about why there are so many more regulations than laws, and how state bureaucrats share info on things that might become a problem some day and what to do to avoid ever having to say they screwed up. I'm sure everyone has heard of 'model laws' which states copy from one another; this is the same, but just little regulations which don't really affect anyone at the time, so they don't get any press.
Posted by Phideaux on 07/14/20 at 10:34 PM
The sad irony is that, even if his scheme were to have worked, zero cats and dogs have been helped by his largesse in over 100 years.
Posted by Brian on 07/19/20 at 10:25 PM
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