September 01, 1996

Inheritance of Contaminated Property (1996, 10:05)

Inheritance of Contaminated Property: Blessing or Curse?

Probate and Property, September/October 1996, Volume 10, Number 5

By Thomas A. Packer and James W. Miller Jr.

British novelist Samuel Butler said that when you tell someone you have left him a legacy, the only decent thing to do is to die at once. If a legacy includes contaminated real property, however, someone may first want to warn the heir. In a perfect world, only assets without liabilities would survive death. The world being far from perfect, however, one must keep in mind the biblical admonition that the sins of the fathers will be visited on the children. especially when it comes to environmental sins, the whole family (and its insurers) should be prepared.

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