"I updated my will, something I had been putting off." That's what Kenneth Feinberg, the former administrator of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 and currently administrator of the General Motors ignition-switch compensation program, wrote in the New York TImes. Feinberg, who's nearing 70,had to review in detail the estate plans of those killed unexpectedly. It's given him an up-and-close and personal view of how people leave their worldly goods to their heirs--and provided him with a learning moment or two.
"Over half the victims on Sept. 11 did not have a will. Given that they were relatively young and in good health with excellent jobs, they seem not to have thought it was necessary. I suddenly found it necessary.
"It was also important to me to avoid the problems I occasionally confronted after Sept. 11, when angry siblings, parents and relatives declared war with one another over the victim’s assets and argued over the 9/11 fund compensation. When millions of dollars are suddenly available for distribution, family members, fiancés and same-sex partners sometimes engage in bitter arguments. So I made sure that my wife and three children had a clear understanding of who gets what by providing each of them a detailed memorandum listing all of my assets and an explanation of how my wealth should be distributed after my death."