REAL-LIFE INDIANA JONES: MAN USES TREASURE HUNT IN ESTATE PLANNING

For some, the situation may sound too good to be true but for thrill seekers around the world, one man’s announcement regarding a real-life buried treasure is other people’s excuses to live out their lifelong dream of becoming Indiana Jones.

Forrest Fenn, an 82-year-old New Mexico man has been collecting valuable items for most of his life, but when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1988 he decided that it wasn’t about the life that a person lives that is important, it’s the mileage you accrue. “There is a wonderful and mysterious world out there to be discovered,” he’s explained to numerous reporters around the country.

It took 12 years of collecting, but after gathering an estimated $1million worth of artifacts, precious metals and rare gems, the old adventurer was ready to send someone else on a journey of their own. “I have had so much fun over the last 70 years collecting things, I wanted to give others the same opportunity,” he says.

About three years ago, Fenn packed up the treasure into a chest and buried it in the mountains just north of his Santa Fe home. Now all people have to do is extract nine clues from a poem he wrote, locate the spot where the chest was buried and the million dollar treasure is theirs.

Although this may seem like an extreme way of distributing your estate before you pass away, some would point out that this form of estate planning requires little to no paperwork and could allow people with large estates to avoid estate taxes at the time of their deaths. Even though becoming a real-life Indiana Jones may seem exciting, for the rest of us here in Texas, it’s still a good idea to speak with an estate planning attorney before burying our assets in the mountains for someone else to find.

Source: Metro News, “Forrest Fenn and the Raiders of the Stashed Gold: Real-life Indiana Jones stages treasure hunt,” Ross McGuinness, Mar. 8, 2013