DuPont Wealth - May 2019

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LIFESTYLE ADVOCACY FAMILY FINANCE LAFF is a publication of DuPont Wealth Solutions and the law offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel blending original and curated content and is intended to educate the general public about investing, finance, estate planning, personal injury, and small business issues. It is not intended to be legal or financial advice. Every situation is different. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed, as long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety.

19 MAY

We’ve got a special treat for you this edition. It’s my pleasure to announce that our firm is releasing our very own serialized mystery series. You read that right. I’ve always valued educating my clients on estate planning, but who says you can’t have a little fun in the process? Below, you’ll find the opening to vol. 1 of “The Pilot Mysteries,” our noir-inspired series starring a dashing estate planner caught in the middle of a deadly family feud. Chelsea de Modelo didn’t have an appointment when she arrived late that afternoon, but Meredith showed her back to my office anyway, partly because I was available and mostly because of her tears. Only a few months had passed since Chelsea and her husband had executed their rather complex estate planning documents, but as I watched her move to the window, gazing out across the parking lot at the rising rush hour traffic on I-270, she seemed like someone else entirely. She wore a simple tan blouse, a long black skirt, and a light, maroon scarf around her throat, which might have been doubling as a handkerchief. It was a stark contrast to the yoga-pants-and-Yale-T-Shirt ensemble she’d worn the last time, and her demeanor had changed just as much. Having greeted her as Meredith escorted her in, I didn’t approach her but rose from my desk and watched as she went to the window, sobbing softly in the late afternoon sun. Considerably younger than her husband, Arturo, she’d been jubilant and full of energy at their last appointment. Now, she seemed exhausted, solemn, and something else, something I couldn’t put my finger on. Meredith lingered in the doorway; she always offered a beverage at this point and somewhat eerily knew which beverage each of my clients enjoyed, but she’d fixed me with an uncertain frown, an eyebrow raised. Should she still offer a beverage, or simply withdraw? I nodded at her and she nodded in return, her eyebrow dropping back into place, and stepped briskly to the beverage station in the hall. I approached the window several arms lengths away from my client, wanting to give her space without seeming to ignore her. The yellow sunlight burst through the glass from our collars down; in a few minutes I would need to lower the shades or we’d be practically blinded. I said, “Jeremy called in earlier this afternoon. He told Meredith what happened while I was meeting with clients. I returned his call immediately, but it went straight to voice mail.”

Jeremy was Arturo’s son from a previous marriage. There’d been a second marriage as well, then he’d divorced again and married Chelsea less than six months ago. He’d told Meredith that Arturo had been in a serious car accident and was in the ICU at Riverside Hospital. They didn’t know if he was going to make it.

She said, “He was driving through the roundabout on 161 by the river. He’s always

complaining about that thing. I actually like it, you just yield to the left, but he thought it was a free for all, like a little pocket of the road where no one followed any predictable rules at all.” I made a note to speak with Braden, the firm’s litigation attorney, to look into who was at fault and what our clients’ options were, but now wasn’t the time. “Is he still in the ICU?” “Yes,” she said, and more tears came, so we just looked out across the parking lot together, both of us trying to ignore them. I started wondering why she wasn’t at the hospital if her husband was in the ICU.

She plucked the thought right out of my head. “You’re probably wondering why I’m not at the hospital.”

There wasn’t much to say to that; it seemed rhetorical, so I just waited for her to tell me.

She noticed a box of tissues on the end table by the sofa, reached out and gingerly removed one. She dabbed her eyes and then blew her nose suddenly, not very gingerly at all. “The documents we signed back in February, one of them was a Medical Power of Attorney, isn’t that right?” I nodded; that would be standard. But I turned and walked back to my computer to pull up their file to be sure. I have a lot of clients, and I don’t like to keep information in my head, nor do I like to assume things. “I have originals of your documents in a fireproof facility; I can have them here


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tomorrow by eleven o’clock. But you were also given originals. We executed two of them. Did you …”

I finished typing the message to Meredith, asking her to tell me when she’d confirmed the documents were ordered. Chelsea would need them at the hospital, which halfway explained why she was in my office, instead. What it didn’t explain was why she hadn’t simply called. Nor did it explain what she or Arturo’s sons could have had to do with an admittedly strange car accident involving, among other oddities, a small swarm of bees. She turned from the window, crossing her arms, and I finally saw in her pale green eyes what I hadn’t been able to put my finger on before: this woman was terrified. For the second time in just a few minutes, Chelsea de Modelo seemed to sense my unspoken questions and answered them both.

“They’ve stolen them,” she said, a little venom in her voice as she cut me off. “Jeremy and his awful brother.”

I felt my brow furrow and my body grow tense and wary. That was a serious charge. Did she think they stole them, or did she know they stole them?

Still, I was only a few clicks from their file, so I pulled it up and took a look. “You did both sign Medical POAs,” I told her, my fingers clicking across the keyboard. “I’m messaging Meredith to have the original brought in tomorrow.” But Meredith walked into the room as I said it, nodding at me to indicate she’d heard me and placing a steaming cup of cinnamon tea on the table by the tissues. I recognized the aroma from the de Modelos’ previous visits. Sensing the gravity of the situation, Meredith closed the door behind her as she withdrew.

“It wasn’t a car accident,” she said. “It was attempted murder.”

Want to find out what happens next? Check our website for future installments. And, of course, if you have questions about establishing or updating your own medical power of attorney, swing by our office. No foul play required.

Chelsea said, “They’re acting like I had something to do with it, but I know it was them.”

Charles Darwin called blushing “the most peculiar and most human of all expressions.” For hundreds of years, makeup has helped women re-create this rosy look with blush and rouge. But did you know the ritual of pinking one’s cheeks has an intriguing and violent history? During the Middle Ages in Europe, a ghostly white pallor was associated with wealth. The societal expectation to uphold this appearance was so deep-rooted that overlords and ladies even underwent bloodletting procedures to maintain their plaster skin tone. Makeup trends changed in the following centuries, when rosy cheeks were associated with fertility and arousal, resulting in the creation of multiple beauty products designed to give cheeks a youthful glow. An Italian countrywoman named Giulia Tofana decided to take advantage of this trend by selling a poisonous “complexion aid.” Tofana had spent much of her life learning the tricks of alchemy from her mother, who was executed after being accused of poisoning her husband. Tofana spent

her adult years creating a poisonous makeup she dubbed “Aqua Tofana.” This product was rumored to kill in just four drops, containing just enough arsenic to do the job without leaving a trace. Tofana disguised the poison as liquid blush and traveled around southern Italy, where she peddled her product to women whose families had arranged their marriage to malicious men. Her main sales pitch was to offer these women an “early Italian divorce,” and it worked. Reports indicate that Tofana was behind the murder of over 600 men. Tofana’s death was almost as violent as her 20- year murder streak. One of her customers got cold feet after dropping some of the poison in her husband’s soup, so she told the papal authorities that Tofana was the one who had sold her the concoction. Tofana, along with her daughter and three employees, were tortured until they confessed. Many contemporary women may consider blush an outdated beauty product, but it was once so popular that people killed to have it.

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One important goal of estate planning is easing the financial burden and emotional stress on your family. Proper preparation and foresight can make all the difference for your loved ones in the administration of your estate. Building liquidity into your estate plan can ensure your family will have the resources available to cover estate settlement costs, as well as any tax due. Liquidity refers to the ability to quickly and easily convert assets into cash without incurring a significant loss. Funds in a checking account are considered liquid assets, while real estate is considered relatively illiquid. If your estate must sell illiquid assets to meet immediate cash needs, it may incur a significant loss. In addition to the financial consequences, such forced sales are often difficult for heirs, particularly if it means the loss of a family business, heirlooms, or a home.

Final medical expenses Funeral costs

• • • • • • •

Outstanding bills Existing debts

Income taxes (and any accounting fees)

Appraisal fees

Federal and state estate taxes

Attorney fees

Be sure to consult an estate planning team comprised of an attorney, tax advisor, and financial professional to help you develop the appropriate strategies for your situation. It’s one of the best things you can do for your heirs. You and your family will be prepared for the future, and your legacy will be carried to the next generation.

Anticipating and planning for the following expenses can help ease the estate settlement process.

A deadly twist on the Classic Manhattan, this cocktail is both tempting and uncomplicated.


2 ounces bourbon (preferably Bulleit)

• •

½ ounce coffee liqueur 2 dashes orange bitters


1. Combine ingredients in mixing glass. 2. Add ice and stir until chilled. 3. Strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass. 4. Garnish with flamed orange twist.

Locked and loaded with the tangy twist of orange and the spicy bite of bourbon, the Revolver is a cocktail everyone should try at least once. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and pull the trigger.

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DuPont Wealth Solutions, LLC 655 Metro Pl S #440 Dublin, OH 43017

We’re Building A Mystery PAGE 1

We’re Building A Mystery (continued) One Killer Beauty Product PAGE 2 Why Liquid Assets Are So Important The Revolver Cocktail PAGE 3

The War Pigeon Who Saved the ‘Lost Battalion’ PAGE 4

Long before the invention of radios and cellphones, homing pigeons were used to send messages as early as the sixth century. During World War I, war pigeons carried lifesaving messages past enemy lines for the American and French armies, often being wounded in the process. In 1918, Cher Ami, a black check hen used by the U.S. Signal Corps, became the most famous of them all. On Oct. 2, the United States 77th Infantry Division was trapped behind enemy lines in the Argonne Forest during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, a three-month push by the Allies during the final throes of World War I to force the Germans to surrender. It became the bloodiest battle in U.S. history. For six days, the encircled division endured relentless attacks and suffered heavy casualties, but their orders were clear: Don’t retreat and don’t surrender. The division dispatched two homing pigeons with requests for help, but both birds were shot down. When friendly fire began raining down on the 77th, Major Charles White Whittlesey felt he had no choice but to send the last pigeon, Cher Ami. The pigeon’s desperate note read:

“We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.”

As Cher Ami rose from the brush, she was shot down, to the despair of the watching soldiers. However, after a few seconds, she fought her way back into the air, flew through a torrent of gunfire, and made it to division headquarters 25 miles away. She had been shot in the breast, the eye, and the leg. Because of Cher Ami’s brave flight, 194 of the original 554 men of the 77th Infantry Division survived the battle. One month later, World War I came to an end. Cher Ami survived the war as well, thanks to the surgeons who performed emergency surgery on her. One soldier even carved her a little wooden leg. She became a well-known hero to both soldiers and children in the States. For her service in Verdun, the French Army awarded her the Croix de Guerre, and she was inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame. Cher Ami finally succumbed to her wounds in June of 1919 and is now on display in the Smithsonian alongside Sergeant Stubby, a terrier who served 18 months on the Western Front.

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