Monday, August 1, 2016

Widows

Hamish Fletcher of the NZ Herald provides an interesting story.

If I get this right, a brother in New Zealand quietly set up a trust fund administered by another Mason.  The taxes were paid directly from the fund and his wife received quarterly distributions while the husband was alive.

Upon his death in 2001, he instructed the fund valued at over NZ$200,000 be turned over to the "Freemasons NZ" (presumably the Grand Lodge of New Zealand).  His wife obviously objected and demanded the funds be turned over to her.  She has just won the case and will receive the benefits.

 This should not be an issue for Masons.  The very core of our philosophy is the care of widows and orphans.  People make donations to lodges all the time.  They set up trusts, insurance policies, and many other things to provide a benefit after they die in appreciation for the fellowship and learning that occurred in life.  If the brother in question had wanted to benefit the Craft, he should have let his wife in on the secret. That's what American financial adviser, Dave Ramsay would call "financial infidelity."

I don't know why this brother behaved the way that he did.  I don't understand why he felt the need to hide this rather significant donation from his wife.  I guess the lesson here is that before our life partners become widows, we need to be open and honest about money.  If we want to leave a gift to the lodge, make sure our life partners are on board and that they will execute the instructions after we pass to the Grand Lodge Above.

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