"The Sultan of Swats" grew up in an institution for underprivileged boys. Dominating baseball as a home run hitter, Ruth became a national celebrity. Famous for his charitable deeds, he once promised to hit a homer for a hospitalized boy. A year before he died, he established and endowed the Babe Ruth Foundation for destitute children. Ruth had a lot of fun along the way while also becoming one of Baseball's legends. One might think he might have forgotten to take measures to protect his money from loss during the great depression, as well as fail to later plan his estate well for his eventual demise. But, the Bambino fooled us again!
From 1923 to 1930 or so, Harry Heilmann worked in the off baseball season as a licensed insurance agent. He was a star baseball player with the Detroit Tigers and was the Batting champion four times with them. As a result he became very good friends with Babe Ruth, and in fact sold one or more annuity policies to the Babe (and his girlfriend then wife Clara Mae Merritt Hodgson). The Babe had Heilmann come to New York and complete these annuity purchases in 1924 to 1930. the Babe and Mrs. Ruth subsequently started taking $1000 a month withdrawals from these accounts right after the Great Depression to maintain their lifestyle.
Purportedly there may have been more than one annuity contracts sold and there may have been more than one annuity (life insurance) company used. These accounts were started with approx. $35,000; and $50,000. each beginning as early as 1923 and the last one in early 1929. Harry Heilmann, who must have been considered a bit of an insurance policy himself when it came to batting performance, worked for Equitable Life Insurance.
In fact, his sale of a policy to the Babe was credited by some as having raised the profile of the then fledgling life insurance industry. It does appear in research, that Equitable was the one and only company that Heilmann worked with, though one can't say this with 100% certainty. For online researchers, Equitable was the only name that come up in a fairly comprehensive search of historical newspaper records.
Here is a link to one good article excerpt on Heilmann, Babe Ruth and insurance. It mentions the initial sale, and states it as "life insurance", but this is deemed to mean an annuity that is from a life insurance company generally by historians. Either way, it was reported in the Nebraska State Journal newspaper of October 17, 1923.
Protecting His Estate and Providing Guaranteed Income Was Ahead of his Time!
His lawyers created a very advanced income paying trust inside his Last Will & Testament. Be sure to notice the red highlights below, since even from the grave, the Babe directed the Trustee to use "Annuities" after his death to assure income goes to his family survivors! The Babe taught a lesson here that we all should consider today!!!
Last Will & Testament
GEORGE HERMAN RUTH
I, GEORGE HERMAN RUTH, being of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, but mindful of the uncertainty of life, do hereby make, declare and publish this to be my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all other wills and codicils thereto be me at any time heretofore made.
FIRST: I direct my Executors hereinafter named to pay all my just debts and funeral expenses as soon after my death as may be practicable.
SECOND: I give and bequeath to my wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, if she shall survive me, all my household furniture, automobiles with the appurtenances thereto, paintings, works of art, books, china, glassware, silverware, linens, household furnishings and equipment of any kind, clothing, jewelry, articles of personal wear and adornment and personal effects, excepting however, souvenirs, mementoes, pictures, scrap books, manuscripts, letters, athletic equipment and other personal property pertaining to baseball. In the event that my wife, Clara Mae Ruth shall not survive me, I direct my Executors hereinafter named to divide the said property between my daughters, DOROTHY RUTH SULLIVAN and JULIA RUTH FLANDERS, as my said daughters may agree, or in the event they are unable to agree, to divide the said property between my said daughters as my Executors hereinafter named may, in their absolute discretion determine. The determination of my Executors as to the relative values of such property for the purpose of dividing the same and in the making of such distribution shall be final, conclusive and binding upon all persons interested herein.
THIRD: I give and bequeath to my Executors hereinafter named or either of them who may qualify, all my souvenirs, mementoes, pictures, scrap books, manuscripts, letters, athletic equipment and other personal property pertaining to baseball, and I request but do not direct my said Executors to divide the same among such persons, corporations and organizations as I may from time to time request or in such manner as they in their sole and uncontrolled discretion may deem proper and fitting.
FOURTH: I give and bequeath to my wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, if she shall survive me, to my daughter, DOROTHY RUTH SULLIVAN, if she shall survive me, and to my daughter, JULIA RUTH FLANDERS, if she shall survive me, each the sum of Five Thousand ($5,000.) Dollars.
FIFTH: I give and bequeath to my sister, MARY H. MOBERLY, now residing in Baltimore, Maryland, if she shall survive me, the sum of Ten Thousand ($10,000.) Dollars.
SIXTH: I give and bequeath to FRANK DELANEY, providing he is in my employ at the time of my death, and to MARY REITH, providing she is in my employ at the time of my death, each the sum of Five Hundred ($500.) Dollars.
SEVENTH: Under the provisions of a certain Indenture or Trust Agreement made and executed by and between me and the President and Directors of The Manhattan Company of 40 Wall Street, Borough of Manhattan, City of New York, dated the 26th day of April, 1927, I reserved the right to designate in and by my last will and testament a new beneficiary to whom the income or principal of the trust fund which is the subject of the said Trust Agreement, shall be paid after my death in the place and stead of my daughter, Dorothy Ruth Sullivan, and my next of kin. Pursuant to such reserved right and in the exercise thereof, I hereby declare and direct that the income and principal of the said trust shall be paid after my death as follows:
A. The income of the said trust fund shall be paid to my wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, during the term of said trust or the life of my said wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, whichever may be the shorter period. After the death of my wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, the income of the said trust during the remainder of the term thereof shall be divided equally between my daughters, DOROTHY RUTH SULLIVAN and JULIA RUTH FLANDERS. If JULIA RUTH FLANDERS shall be deceased, the income which she would have received had she been alive, shall be paid to her issue per stirpes and not per capita, or if there be no issue of said JULIA RUTH FLANDERS then living, all of the income of the said trust shall be paid to my daughter, DOROTHY RUTH SULLIVAN.
B. Upon the termination of the said trust during the lifetime of my wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, I direct the Trustee thereof to purchase from an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of New York, a refund annuity which will pay to my wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, during her lifetime, in equal monthly installments the annual amount of Six Thousand ($6,000.) Dollars, and I further direct the Trustee of the said trust to divide the remainder of the principal of the said trust fund, including any refund payable upon the annuity hereinbefore required to be purchased for the benefit of my wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, into two (2) equal parts; and
(1) To pay one of such equal parts to the issue then living of my daughter, DOROTHY RUTH SULLIVAN, or if she shall leave no issue then surviving, among such persons and in such manner as she may be her last will and testament direct; and
(2) To pay the other of such equal parts to my daughter, JULIA RUTH FLANDERS, if she be then living, or if she be not living, to her issue then surviving, or if she shall leave no issue then surviving, among such persons and in such manner as she may by her last will and testament direct.
EIGHTH: All the rest, residue and remainder of my property and estate, real, personal and mixed, of whatsoever kind, nature or description and wheresoever situate, of which I may die seized and/or possessed or over which I may have any power of disposition or to which I or my estate may be entitled, I give devise and bequeath to my Trustees hereinafter named IN TRUST NEVERTHELESS for the following uses and purposes:
A. To collect and receive the rents, income and profits thereof and to pay the same to my wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, as long as she shall live. B. Upon the death of my wife, CLARA MAE RUTH, or upon my death, if she shall predecease me, I direct my Trustees to pay over, transfer, convey and deliver the principal then remaining in the said trust as follows:
(1) Ten percent (10%) thereof to THE BABE RUTH FOUNDATION, INC., a corporation organized under the Membership Corporations Law of the State of New York and dedicated to the interests of the kids of America. (2) Forty-five percent (45%) thereof to my daughter, DOROTHY RUTH SULLIVAN, if she be then alive, or if she be not then alive, to her then surviving issue per stirpes and not per capita, or if she leave no issue then surviving, to such persons and in such manner as she may by her last will and testament direct. (3) Forty-five percent (45%) thereof to my daughter, JULIA RUTH FLANDERS, if she be then alive, or if she be not then alive, to her then surviving issue per stirpes and not per capita, or if she leave no issue then surviving, to such persons and in such manner as she by her last will and testament direct.
NINTH: I nominate, constitute and appoint J. PAUL CAREY, II and MELVYN GORDON LOWENSTEIN, and the survivor of them, as Executors of and Trustees under this my Last Will and Testament. Within ninety (90) days from the date upon which one of the above named Executors or Trustees shall first act as sole Executor or sole Trustee of this my Last Will and testament, I direct him, by an instrument in writing duly signed and acknowledged and suitable for recording in the State of New York, to appoint a bank or a trust company which has conducted active business operations in the State of New York for at least 25 years, or which is the successor to a bank or trust company organized under the laws of the State of New York or the United States of America more than 25 years prior to the date of such appointment, to be and become a co-Executor and/or a co-Trustee. In the event that such sole acting Executor or sole acting Trustee shall not have appointed a bank or a trust company as co-Executor or Co-Trustee hereunder, as hereinabove directed and within the period hereinabove specified, then I nominate, constitute and appoint THE CHASE NATIONAL BANK OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, as co-Executor and co-Trustee of this my Last Will and Testament.
TENTH: I direct that if and when any part of the principal or income of any share or portion of my estate shall become payable to any beneficiary who is an infant, such principal or income shall absolutely vest in and belong to such infant, but payment thereof may be deferred, and I authorize my Executors and Trustees, as the case may be, in their sole and uncontrolled discretion, to hold the share of such infant and to retain the custody and control thereof and to administer the same and invest and reinvest such share or portion and the accumulated income therefrom, if any, with all the powers granted in this my Last Will and Testament to the Executors and Trustees, and my Executors and Trustees are further directed to apply such part of the income and principal thereof as in their discretion they may deem necessary and proper for the maintenance, support and education of such infant during minority, and upon such infant attaining majority, to pay over to such infant whatever part of such principal and income and any accumulated income thereon which may then remain in the hands of my said Executors or Trustees, as the case may be. Such application of principal or income, in the discretion of my said Executors or Trustees may be made wholly or in part by said Executors or Trustees paying directly the expenses for the maintenance, support and education of such infant, or by paying such principal or income to such infant or to an adult person of my Executors' or Trustees' selection deemed by them to be the most likely person to make proper application of such principal or income for the infant's benefit; the receipt of the person to whom such payment is made to be a sufficient voucher and discharge to my said Executors or Trustees, as the case may be, for all payments so made by them.
ELEVENTH: In addition to the powers conferred upon my Executors and Trustees by law, or herein elsewhere conferred upon them, I hereby authorize and empower them and successors (a) to retain any investments which I may have at the time of my death, and to invest and reinvest any trusts funds coming into their hands in any stocks, bonds, securities or other property, real or personal, which they in their discretion deem advisable, whether such investments be authorized by the laws of any state or jurisdiction or not, and to hold the same as long as they may deem advisable, with full power to sell and reinvest, and to change securities and investments as they deem best; (b) for the purpose of partitioning or distributing the funds of my estate, and for any other purpose whatsoever, to grant, bargain, sell, convey, mortgage, lease, exchange, or otherwise dispose of, as and when they or their successors may deem expedient, any and all property, real, personal or mixed, of which I may be seized or possessed or in or to which I may be in any manner interested or entitled at the time of my death, or of which they may be seized or possessed, entitled to or interested in, as my Executors or Trustees, and upon such disposition thereof, to execute, acknowledge and deliver all necessary and proper deeds or instruments of conveyance for the vesting in the purchases, mortgagee, lessee, or other transferee thereof, the title thereto, in fee or otherwise, and I hereby direct that upon any such disposition thereof, my Executors or Trustees, or the successors of any of them, may take the consideration agreed upon, wholly or partly, in cash, stocks, bonds, notes or any securities which they or their successors shall determine upon, and I expressly direct that no purchases, mortgagee, lessee, or other transferee thereof shall be bound to see to the application of money or other thing of value paid or given therefore; (c) whenever my Executors or Trustees, or the successors of any of them, are required, or shall determine to divide the principal of my estate held by them into shares, so to divide the same without converting it into money, but in their discretion by apportioning the property held, whether the same shall be producing income or not, to such different parts or shares, in such manner as they shall deem fairly and equitably to bring about the division directed or determined upon, the judgment of my said Executors or Trustees concerning the priority of any allotment or distribution of property hereunder shall be final and binding upon all persons interested in my estate, and the determination of my Executors or Trustees as to the value of any such property shall be presumptively correct and shall be final and binding upon all persons in interest, unless clear and convincing proof is adduced showing gross error on the part of my said Executors or Trustees; (d) to consent to and participate in the reorganization, consolidation, merger or other capital readjustment of any corporation, the stocks, bonds or other securities of which they may hold, and to do all things whatsoever necessary, advisable or expedient to enable them to secure the benefits of such reorganization, consolidation, merger or other capital readjustment, including particularly the sale or purchase of any rights incident thereto, and the payment of any amounts necessary. Investments made through the exercise of any such rights, or the proceeds received at the sale thereof, shall be considered principal.
I also further authorize my Executors or Trustees, as the case may be, to vote upon and give proxies to vote upon, any stocks or bonds of corporations that may be owned by me at the time of my death or subsequently acquired by them, upon any question that may lawfully be submitted to the vote of the stockholders or bondholders of such corporation, and in their discretion to subject any such stocks to voting trust agreements, and to accept voting trust certificates in exchange therefore. It is my will and intention that in dealing with the affairs and securities of any corporation in which I shall be interested at the time of my death, either as creditor or stockholder, or with the affairs and securities of any corporation in which my Executors or Trustees, as the case may be, may at any time be interested on behalf of my estate, as creditors or stockholders, my said Executors or Trustees, as the case may be, shall have and may exercise all of the powers that might lawfully be exercised by an individual owning said stock or obligation and acting in his own right and interest.
The Trustees shall be authorized to hold such sum or sums un-invested as they shall see fit.
The Trustees may hold the trust estate or any part thereof as an undivided whole, without separation as between the trusts hereby created, but no such holding shall defer the vesting of any estate in possession, or otherwise, according to the terms hereof.
The Trustees are hereby authorized and empowered to employ such person or persons to assist them in the management and administration of the estate, in an advisory capacity or otherwise, as they shall deem in their sole discretion to be for the best interests of the trust estate and to fix and pay the compensation therefore.
I direct that my Executors and Trustees shall not be required to lay apart any portion of the income or any of the said trust funds for the purpose of keeping the principal thereof intact, or for the purpose of making good any amount paid in premiums on the purchase of securities.
All cash dividends or other cash distributions received from any mining stocks or other wasting investments whether or not of the same kind (notwithstanding such cash dividends or distributions may have been designated or described by the disburser thereof to be in whole or in part a return of capital or a distribution from depletion reserves and whether or not they may be extraordinary dividends or distributions), shall be treated as income without setting apart any portions of such dividends or distributions to maintain intact the principal of any trust fund provided for hereunder. All extraordinary stock dividends and all realized appreciation in the value of stocks, bonds, securities or other property, resulting from the sale or other disposition thereof, shall be considered principal and not income, but ordinary stock dividends paid regularly by a corporation in lieu of, or in addition to regular cash dividends shall be considered income and not principal, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that the Trustees' determination as to whether any dividend should be apportioned or allocated in whole or in part to principal or income, shall be conclusive and binding upon all persons now or hereafter interested in the trust estate.
I hereby expressly declare that my Executors or Trustees, as the case may be, whichever shall assume to act in the premises, shall have full power to settle and determine all questions which may arise as to my estate, including the power to settle, adjust, compromise or refer to arbitration, any and all claims in favor or or against my estate and to receive and make payment thereof according to such arbitration, settlement, adjustment and compromise, and all the acts of said Executors and/or Trustees in that regard shall be final and conclusive.
I further direct that no bond, undertaking or other security whatsoever, shall be required of my Executors and Trustees, or their successors in any jurisdiction whatsoever, for the discharge of any of their duties hereunder, or for or upon the doing any act which they are empowered to do under or by virtue of the provisions of this my Last Will, or under or by virtue of any law or authority whatsoever.
Except as otherwise herein provided, all of the powers and authority herein conferred, including discretionary power, may be exercised by such of my Executors and Trustees as may qualify, and by the survivor, survivors and successors of them.
The words ``income'' and ``profits'' as used in this my Last Will are not intended to include profits realized upon the sale of any of the assets constituting the principal of my estate. Such profits are to treated as accretions to principal.
In the event that any person named as a legatee under this my Last Will and Testament shall die simultaneously with me, or in or as a result of a common disaster, or in the event that there may be a question as to the survivorship of such person or myself, then for all purposes and intents under this my Last Will and Testament such person shall be deemed to have predeceased me.
TWELFTH: I direct that any Federal or state income tax which may become due from my estate by reason of the profits or accretions which shall accrue to the principal of any trust fund hereunder shall be paid by my Trustees out of the principal of such trust fund and shall not be charged against or paid from the income of any beneficiary of any trust fund under this my Last Will.
THIRTEENTH: I direct that all estate, transfer, succession, inheritance, legacy and similar taxes upon or with respect to so much of my estate as passes by, through or under Paragraphs SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH and EIGHTH of this my Last Will, shall be paid out of my residuary estate and there shall be no pro-ration of any such taxes, and I further direct that so much of such estate, transfer, succession, inheritance, legacy and similar taxes as may be assessed against my estate by reason of the inclusion for estate tax purposes of the trust referred to under Paragraph SEVENTH of this my Last Will, or any other assets not passing by, through or under this my Last Will, shall be apportioned to such trust and assets and shall be charged to and paid therefrom.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto to this, my Last Will and Testament, set my hand and seal this 9th day of August, in the year One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty-eight.
George Herman Ruth (L.S.
In the presence of:
Dorothy Henderson Herbert P. Polk F. Van S. Parr, Jr.
SEALED, SUBSCRIBED, PUBLISHED AND DECLARED by the above named Testator, George Herman Ruth, as and for his Last Will and Testament, in the presence of us, and of each of us, who at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witness's the day and year last above written; this clause having first been read to us and we having noted and hereby certifying that the matters herein stated took place in fact and in the order herein stated.
Dorothy Henderson residing at 520A _9th Street Brooklyn, N.Y.
Herbert P. Polk residing at 205 W. 89 Street New York, N.Y.
F. Van S. Parr, Jr. residing at 23 Woodland Way Manhasset, N.Y.
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