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"Is your estate plan, will, or trust sufficient or deficient?"

Simpsons Probate

Despite the popular myth, time does pass in Springfield. Unlike the show would have you believe, days pass into years like any other place. This fact is particularly troublesome to a household such as the Simpsons’. A household headed by man whose idea of sound investing is placing the entire family savings into pumpkins. A man, while being seized of undying devotion to his family, can never be accused of thinking much about the future. Following his “retirement” from the nuclear power plant after accruing no fewer than a dozen near meltdowns attributed to him, Homer settled into life with Marge. Life went on and Bart moved on to his moderately successful career as a bulldozer operator for a demolition company and Lisa, having graduated from Vassar, was making her career in politics. Maggie remained close to home and remained as close to Marge as she had ever been.

After one of Homer’s many near death experiences, Marge insisted that they visit Lionel Hutz to have Wills prepared. Agreeing to do the work for a ham sandwich, Lionel drew the Wills up. Marge and Homer never gave the matter another thought. Homer’s recklessness continued long into his retirement and the weight of his second attempt at a music career, Mr. Plow and bowling alley employee, each with disastrous results, wore heavy on Marge and despite the careful care and attention paid to her by Maggie, she passed on. Despite his countless appearances in the courts of Springfield, Homer was ill equipped to handle the affairs of her Estate. In addition, he too found that the years of donuts, Krusty Burger, and evading disaster on a weekly basis, typically on Thursdays initially and later on Sundays, had worn on him and he did not have will to do it. Moe and Barney told Homer that, since the house, car and bank accounts were in both Homer and Marge’s names, Homer really didn’t have to do anything. Despite Homer’s new found unwillingness to handle the affairs of the estate and to spend the bulk of his time with Lenny and Carl at Moe’s, Lisa knew that something would have to be done to avoid complications later, but was living in Washington D.C. and her time largely occupied with her career. Maggie was also growing restless, longing to leave Springfield and feeling as though it is only fair that she receive something for all of the time, effort and lost opportunities she faced while caring for Marge in her later years and while Homer was off on his misadventures. Bart was largely unconcerned, but remembered a promise Marge had made that he would receive the house if anything ever happened to her and Homer and Bart was eager to protect what was “his”.

How do you think the story ends?

A contested guardianship of Homer between Bart and Lisa vying for the power to control Homer’s finances?

What if Homer had died first?

Would Bart and Lisa had contested who should get the house?

While the Will Mr. Hutz prepared was adequate, but, much like Mr. Hutz himself, was flawed in many ways, including the fact that it named only one Executor, Homer, and no successors. This meant that if Homer would not act, then Bart, Lisa and Maggie would have to go to Court to be appointed Executor to handle the affairs of the Estate and each of them had equal priority. These issues eventually led to a lengthy Court battle and eventual settlement of the Estate. Homer went on to or his misadventures; Bart continued in his demolition business, knowing that he would eventually receive the house; Lisa was happy to know that she would not have to deal with this type of situation again and her brother would not be crashing on her couch any time soon; and Maggie went on to New York with enough to start her designer pacifier business.