In blogs published on our site in March 2008 and January 2010, the fascinating story of the estate of Franz Kafka was considered. As we have discussed in other blogs (see this blog on Nabakov), an executor of the estate of a literary giant may face temptation to publish unfinished works even in the face of an expressed intention of the testator to the contrary. Such was the case with Kafka: his named executor and trusted friend chose to edit and posthumously publish certain works (to great acclaim it may be added).
In the second blog, Nadia Harasymowycz noted that certain letters and drawings gifted by Kafka to his mother and sisters prior to his death remained in a safety deposit box. As reported yesterday online by the National Post, a bank in Zurich "opened up four safety deposit boxes containing some of the unpublished work, and will allow Kafka scholars to look at the work." This decision follows on the heels of a ruling by the Israeli courts last week, wherein Tel Aviv banks were ordered to produce other similar documents.
Once the process of documentation is complete at the three banks, a judge will rule about the future of the papers: “whether they are the private property of the Hoffe sisters, who can then do with them whatever they want, or whether they constitute a literary treasure that must be transferred to a public archive.”
David M. Smith – Click here fore more information on David Smith.
Listen to Talking About Wealth and Personal Finance.
This week on Hull on Estates Suzanna and Ian review the pullout in March 18th’s New York Times and talk about the importance of dialog before and after death.