A Brother’s Will: A Caring Sibling

By 1910, Lena Goldsmith and her husband Gustavus had passed away, but they were survived by their six children and by nine grandchildren—Frank’s four children, Joel’s three children, and Joseph’s two children. All their children and grandchildren were living in Columbus, Ohio, except for their daughter Ella, who was living with her husband Isidor Shatz in Findlay, Ohio.

Two members of the family died in 1915. First, Jacob Basch died at age 56 from a cerebral hemorrhage on April 5, 1915. He had been suffering from chronic nephritis and myocarditis. His brother Joel was the informant on the death certificate.

Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62VC-K3N?cc=2128172&wc=7DZ2-PQ7%3A1296032501%2C1296751602 : 2 October 2014), Franklin > Death certificates, 1915, no 1-1803 > image 995 of 1856; county courthouses, Ohio.

Jacob had never married and had no descendants, but he left a very long and very detailed will, and it is clear from reading it just how close-knit these siblings were. Jacob provided for all five of his siblings and named all three of his brothers to be the executors of his will. It is obvious that he gave a lot of thought to how he wanted his assets divided.

 

I, Jacob Basch, of the city of Columbus, county of Franklin and state of Ohio, do make this my last will and testament, hereby revoking any and all former wills by me heretofore made:

ITEM I. I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid out of my estate as soon as practicable after the time of my decease.

ITEM II. I give and bequeath to the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives in Denver, Colorado, the sum of one thousand dollars ($1000.00).

ITEM III. I give and bequeath to the United Jewish Charities of Columbus, Ohio, the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00).

ITEM IV. I give and bequeath to my brother Joseph Basch, in trust, the sum of five thousand dollars (5000.00) upon the following trust and purpose, to-wit: to construct and erect, at a cost not to exceed the sum of five thousand dollars ($5000.00) an income producing structure upon the plot of ground described and delineated as lot seventy-six (76), Sullivan’s Addition to the city of Columbus, Ohio, being the piece of ground hereinafter devised to my brother Joseph Basch for and during his natural life, and upon his death, to his children, share and share alike absolutely and in fee simple. I direct that the trust fund provided for in this Item of my will be raised by the sale of such amount of my said securities as shall be necessary. In the event that said structure shall not cost the sum of five thousand dollars ($5000.00), the balance of said trust found shall be distributed among my brothers and sisters, share and share alike.

ITEM V. I give and bequeath to my brother Frank Basch an equal one-fifth (1/5) part of my personal property remaining after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses and the legacies mentioned in Items II and III of this my last will and testament and the setting aside of the trust fund provided for in Item IV of this my last will and testament.

ITEM VI. I give and bequeath to my brother Joel Basch an equal one-fifth (1/5) part of my personal property remaining after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses and the legacies mentioned in Items II and III of this my last will and testament and the setting aside of the trust fund provided for in Item IV of this my last will and testament.

ITEM VII. I give and bequeath to my brother Joseph Basch an equal one-fifth (1/5) part of my personal property remaining after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses and the legacies mentioned in Items II and III of this my last will and testament and the setting aside of the trust fund provided for in Item IV of this my last will and testament.

ITEM VIII. I give and bequeath to my brother Joseph Basch in trust the remaining two-fifths (2/5) part of my personal property remaining after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses and the legacies mentioned in Items II and III of this my last will and testament and the setting aside of the trust fund provided for in Item IV of this my last will and testament, to be held and used by him during the lives of my sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz and during the life of the survivor of them, upon the following trust, to-wit: To invest and re-invest the proceeds of said personal property in United States, state or municipal bonds or in first mortgages upon improved city real estate, and to pay each of my said sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz during their lives an equal one-half (1/2) of the net income of said investments, and after the death of one of my sisters to pay all the income of said investments to the survivor of them.

After the death of my said sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz and the survivor of them, I give and bequeath said principal sum herein provided to Joseph Basch in trust of my said sisters, to my brothers Frank Basch, Joel Basch and Joseph Basch, share and share alike. In the event of the death of either or any of my said brothers before the death of the survivor of my said sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz, then the share of said principal which would have been received by said deceased brother, if living, shall be distributed among his children, then living, share and share alike.

ITEM IX. In the division of my personal property bequeathed in Items V, VI, VII and VIII of this my last will and testament, I direct that the then value of my personal property be first ascertained and that a sufficient amount in cash to pay the legacy bequeathed to my brother Joseph Basch in trust for my sisters Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz and the survivor of them, be raised by the sale of such amount of my securities as shall be necessary.

I further direct that my said legatees Frank Basch Joel Basch and Joseph Basch may retain by way of investment any securities belonging to my estate at the time of my death, dividing said securities amongst themselves in such manner as to carry out the provisions of Items V, VI, and VII of this my last will and testament. In the event that my said legatees Frank Basch, Joel Basch and Joseph Basch can not agree as to the manner of division of such securities, then I direct that my executors shall sell all of said securities and apportion the proceeds in the manner directed in Items V, VI, and VII of this my last will and testament.

In the event of the death of my said trustee, Joseph Basch, I then appoint my brothers Frank Basch and Joel Basch and the survivor of them to act as such trustees and trustee, with full power to carry out the provisions of said trust.  I further direct that said trustees and trustee shall be bound by the limitations imposed upon my said trustee, Joseph Basch, as to the manner of investing said trust fund.  It is also my will that all future trustees who may be appointed to carry out the provisions of the within trust be likewise bound by said limitation as to the manner of investing said trust fund.

ITEM X. I give and devise to my sister Hinda Basch for and during her natural life my residence property known as 438 East Rich Street, Columbus, Ohio. From and after the death of said Hinda Basch I give and devise said property herein devised to her for and during her natural life to my brother Joseph Basch for and during his natural life. From and after the death of my said brother Joseph Basch, I give and devise said property herein devised to him for his natural life to his children, share and share alike absolutely, in fee simple.

I give and bequeath to my sister Hinda Basch absolutely all furniture, books, pictures and household effects which at the time of my decease shall be in, about or belonging to my aforesaid residence.

ITEM XI. I give and bequeath to my sister Hinda Basch an annuity of twelve hundred dollars ($1200.00) per year, for and during her natural life, payable on the first day of each and every month, and the payment of the same is hereby made a charge upon the realty hereinafter devised to my sister Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life. It is my will and I direct that said annuity of twelve hundred dollars ($1200.00) per year shall be a first and best lien on said real estate hereinafter devised to my said sister, Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life, and in the event said premises shall be destroyed by fire or rendered unfit for habitation so that the income derived from said real estate shall not be sufficient to pay said annuity, then in that event said annuity shall be paid out of the fund or funds realized from the fire insurance on said real estate. It being my will that in any and all events my said sister, Hinda Basch, shall receive an annuity of twelve hundred dollars ($1200.00) per year payable out of the real estate, either income or principal, hereinafter devised to my said sister, Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life.

In the event of the death of my said sister, Hinda Basch, before the death of my said sister, Ella Schatz, it is my will and I so direct, that my said sister Ella Schatz shall enjoy all of the net income of my said real estate hereinafter devised to her for and during her natural life.

ITEM XII. I give and bequeath to my sister Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life, subject to the annuity hereinbefore bequeathed to my sister Hinda Basch, all my real property, except my residence property hereinbefore devised to my sister, Hinda Basch.

My said devisee Ella Schatz shall keep the buildings upon said real estate in good repair and insured against loss by fire, and shall pay for such repairs, premiums of insurance, taxes and charges of every kind which may be lawfully claimed against said real estate. In case of loss by fire or other damage to such buildings and houses, I direct that my said devisee, Ella Schatz, shall rebuild and repair such property and pay for such rebuilding and repairing from the funds received for insurance.

In the event of the death of my said sister, Ella Schatz, before the death of my sister Hinda Basch, then in that event I give, devise and bequeath all of said real estate herein devised to my sister Ella Schatz, for and during her natural life, to my sister Hinda Basch, for and during her natural life.

Last will and testament of Jacob Basch, Will Records, 1805-1918 ; Index, 1805-1905; Probate Place: Franklin, Ohio,  Will Records, Vol Mm-Oo, 1915-1917,
Ancestry.com. Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998

ITEM XIII. After the death of my sisters, Hinda Basch and Ella Schatz, and survivor of them, I direct that my real property be divided as follows: [Each brother is then devised a specific property for their use and benefit during their lives and then to their children.]

ITEM XIV. I make, nominate and appoint my brothers, Frank Basch, Joel Basch and Joseph Basch, to be the executors of this my last will and testament, and I request that no bond be required of them as such executors. I also request that no bond be required of any of the trustees expressly mentioned in this will. In the event of the inability of death of my said executors, or any of them, the duties of said executorship shall be performed by the survivors or survivor of them.

Dated at Columbus, Ohio, this 29 day of March A.D. 1913

                                                            Jacob Basch

Signed by Jacob Basch and by him acknowledged to be his last will and testament in our presence, sight and hearing, who at his request have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in his presence and in the presence of each other, at Columbus, Ohio, this day of A.D. 1913

[names of witnesses]

 

A few observations about this will:

Jacob was apparently quite a well-to-do man, having not only what appears to be a fair amount invested in securities but also substantial real estate holdings. He also had a very sophisticated and specific plan for how he wanted his assets distributed. He appears to have had a slight bias in favor of his youngest sibling Joseph—giving him a special bequest of $5000 to build an income-producing building in addition to the bequest of his one fifth of the residual estate and naming him as the trustee of the trusts for his sisters Hinda and Ella and as their successor in interest after both had died. But overall he provided in his will for all five of his siblings and for his nieces and nephews.

Just seven months after Jacob’s death, his sister Ella lost her husband Isidor Shatz. Isidor was 67 and died on November 18, 1915 from paralytic ileus (an intestinal obstruction) and the suppression of urine followed by uremia. Joseph Basch was the informant on his death certificate. And although Isidor and Ella had been living outside of Columbus for all their married years, Isidor was, like Jacob and his parents, buried at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus.

“Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GPFX-SYCQ?cc=1307272&wc=MD9F-XTL%3A287601901%2C294657901 : 21 May 2014), 1915 > 57771-60750 > image 2547 of 3300.

Ella then returned to Columbus and was living with her sister Hinda at 438 East Rich Street, the long-time family residence that Jacob had bequeathed to Hinda. From there  Ella was also in a better position to maintain the real estate that Jacob had left to her.

20 thoughts on “A Brother’s Will: A Caring Sibling

  1. A very impressive and detailed last will! You are right, Amy, that there was a slight bias in favour of Jacob’s sibling. I guess it did not lead to any strife in the family. I find it quite natural and understandable that we have our favourite son, daughter, grandchild or other relative based on a special kind of relationship dear to us. Your post reminded me of my neglect of not having thought of writing a last will. Have a great day, Amy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder if National Jewish Hospital in Denver has archived record of receipt of the bequest and documentation on what it was applied to. Perhaps there’s a plaque with his name on it on the medical campus or some other commemoration of his contribution?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Lena Goldsmith Basch’s Grandchildren Reach Adulthood | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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