A New York City landlord told his siblings, on his deathbed, that he hid $4.5m worth of silver bullion and gold krugerrands – but no one knew where. The confession sent a family into years of litigation and a costly treasure hunt, one still unresolved today.
What would you do if your dying family member claimed to have hidden treasures worth millions?
Edward Giaimo Jr. was a wealthy New York lawyer and landlord. In 2007, while on his deathbed he confessed to his family that he had hidden gold and silver worth $4.5 million.
The Guardianreports, in an article titled "Deathbed confession sends New York family on $4.5m treasure hunt," that his family still has not found the treasure.
Despite the fact that the treasure has not been found, the family continues to fight over it in court and they are also fighting over another $10 million that was found in Giaimo's home, which may have been skimmed from subsidized rents.
This is an interesting case for estate administration.
It is difficult to distribute assets that may not even exist. Although Giaimo's brother has stated that he believes the treasure is buried on the property or hidden in an unknown warehouse, it has not been found and might not be. The best that a court might be able to do is determine who gets the fortune if it is ever found.
While the original article does not provide specific details about the family's feud, such disagreements are not uncommon when there is great wealth involved, especially when there is mystery surrounding the wealth.
Reference: The Guardian (December 10, 2014) "Deathbed confession sends New York family on $4.5m treasure hunt"