Death + Humor Death + the Law

From Bea-yond the Grave

Bea Arthur Continues Her Activism in Death
Maria Elena Fernandez, LATimesBlogs (April 22, 2010)

Due to a special stipulation in her will, deceased comedic actress Bea Arthur is speaking out against animal cruelty.

As part of their McCruelty campaign, PETA is using images of Ms. Arthur, a.k.a. Maude, Dorothy, et. al. in new ads appearing in the Chicago Tribune.

I’m Rolling Over in My Grave!Just like many non-profits, PETA offers a “planned giving” option. According to, “a planned gift is any major gift, made in lifetime or at death as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning.”

The world of planned giving is an area of estate planning and charity and philanthropic work that is sometimes overshadowed by the more splashy details of a will involving heirs and final disposition preferences. There are various organizations out there in the planned giving universe such as the stuffy-sounding Partnership for Philanthropic Planning. But in exploring a bit out on the web, we discover the lighter side of the biz.

The planned giving marketers have failures as well. The number one tip given by is to “Stop telling your prospect you’re waiting for him to die.” The fix? Tell ’em it’s all about immortality. That’s what the Ayn Rand Institute seems to be trying to do with their Atlantis Legacy Program. One Atlantis donor put it this way: “I like the idea of my money continuing to fight for Ayn Rand’s ideas into the indefinite future, even after I’m gone. In a way, it’s a form of immortality: to be funding, beyond my lifetime, a world-changing institution.”

And so, we come full circle. In the immortal words of Bea Arthur, “Now this goes to the grave with you – I hate cheesecake!” (This was copied from, a dubious quotations site with little attributable documentation, and despite my official librarian duty to cite my sources, I’m gonna let this one slide.)

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