Not all grandmothers are kind creatures.
One Austrian grandmother, in fact, shredded her 950,000 euro (approximately $1.02 million) fortune in order to prevent her family from getting a dime of it, according to AFP.
Just days before the 85-year-old Austrian grandmother passed away in a nursing home, she reportedly cut every euro she had neatly, as well as shredding her savings accounts books. When through making what may very well be the most expensive confetti in the world, the grandmother piled the $1.02 million worth of paper shreds on an empty bed in the nursing home.
Why she decided to neatly shred her amassed fortune is unclear, but one can assume it wasn’t out of love for her family. Authorities theorize, of course, that the grandmother did it, in fact, in order to upset her family — although what they did in order to anger a grandmother enough to shred her million-dollar fortune has yet to come to light.
Prosecutors certainly cannot help the family, who has just seen their future fortune shredded to pieces.
“The damage of the money in the woman’s property is not a criminal matter, so we have not begun any investigation,” Austrian state prosecutor Erich Habitzl said, according to Fox News. And, of course, the grandmother who destroyed her own fortune passed away just days after doing so, so even if there were a crime, it would be rather difficult to press charges against her.
Fortunately — or unfortunately, depending on how you see it — the heirs of the grandmother will probably be able to recoup their loss. According to the Huffington Post, Austria’s centralized bank (OeNB) should be able to replace the cash the Austrian grandmother shredded in such a dedicated manner. Friedrich Hammerschmidt, deputy head of the OeNB cash division, said, “If the heirs can only find shreds of money and if the origin of the money is assured, then of course it can all be replaced.”
After all, Hammerschmidt says, that’s only fair.
“If we didn’t pay out the money then we would be punishing the wrong people,” he said.
Of course, it sounds as if the Austrian grandmother who spent her final days shredding every dollar she ever had would probably disagree. It seems as if she would have been better off shredding her money in a more legal manner — such as through a will that cut her relatives off without a penny. After all, wills leave very specific instructions on how to deal with what remains after death and some have left some pretty revengeful requests.
A genealogy firm by the name of Fraser and Fraser, based in London, have spent almost fifty years compiling a list of some of the strangest — and meanest — requests they have found in wills.
Take for instance a husband who left his wife a mere farthing — after she called him a “rotten old pig” because of his rather smelly penchant of farting repeatedly. Another man cheekily left the grand sum of £26,000 to Jesus Christ — but with a catch. Jesus would have to prove his identity. Another man left his step-daughter the “price of half a pound of pork sausages.” But, perhaps the coldest example is the will of 59-year-old Annie Langabeer, who left her brother-in-law two shillings and sixpence, which was the price of a rope.
She wanted him to buy it in order to hang himself.
Fraser, of the team who has studied wills, explains that wills are certainly the way to go when leaving your belongings. “We can choose to leave everything we own to a charity, a next door neighbor or we can even leave it to a dog.”
Perhaps the family of the angry Austrian grandmother got off pretty lightly, especially considering it sounds like they will be able to recoup the $1.02 million fortune.
[Photo by Bloomberg/Contributor/Getty Images]