Tuesday, October 15, 2013

His Mom Will Not Be Happy

Donte Whitner, safety for the SF 49ers, has filed an application to change his last name to Hitner.  The hearing in Cuyahoga Probate Court is set for Nov. 19.   His application for the change says it will be commercially favorable to him in various business ventures (and presumably in terms of increased jersey sales).

Two quick points:

1.  In a bit of irony, the 49ers play the Washington Redskins, a team under siege for not changing its name, in his first game after the name change.

2.  Unless the white supremacist market is larger than I believe, I doubt there is huge demand for a jersey with a name that could easily be mistaken for "Hitler."

Monday, October 7, 2013

If You Have to Ask, . . . .

An individual who is  a beneficiary of his uncle's estate asked the Ethicist at the NYT if he should follow his uncle's instructions to donate several thousand dollars to various charities.  The instructions were made in a letter accompanying the will.  The beneficiary perceived the groups to be "extremely right wing" and was offended by some of them.   The Ethicist instructed the beneficiary to make the donations or not take any money.

Several points:

1. Leaving money to someone with the expectation that he will share it with someone else or a charity is not legally binding nor a good idea (see the comment about not legally binding). 

2.  Charitable bequests should be made in the will so they are carried out (and so charitable deductions are effective).

3.  Expecting anyone from California to donate money to a conservative cause is tilting at windmills.