Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sharia Estate Planning?

A document purporting to be the will of terrorist Osama Bin Laden was released this week.  The one page handwritten document dates from the late 1990's.  It was part of a cache of documents retrieved from his compound by Navy SEALs. In it, OBL gave 1% of his estate to one of his henchmen, 1% to another, and directed his family to use the rest of the estate to fund jihad.   No word on what happened to his estate at his death or whether he ever updated his will.

Several points:

1.  In Ohio a handwritten will is valid but it has to be witnessed by two individuals.  OBL's will was not witnessed.

2.  A will cannot make a bequest that promotes illegal activity such as jihad.
3.  In some Arab nations (cough, Saudi Arabia), promoting jihad is encouraged, not illegal.  
4.  After the San Bernardino murderers did not leave a will for their daughter and OBL left a will in the form of a letter, perhaps LegalZoom or Nolo can start marketing to the Sharia law set.  Their products cannot be worse than OBL's effort.