Trapped Man Writes Last Will and Testament on Car Armrest

Sep 15, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
A man who was trapped in his car for three days wrote his last will and testament on an armrest.

A situation recently unfolded near the Texas town of Kerrville that demonstrates why it's wise to prepare for the possibility of an accident by drawing up a last will and testament.

Robert Porter, an 85-year-old World War II veteran, drove his car along a dirt road near his home to look at a pond when the car slid down an embankment and became stuck. Because the ground was so soft, the wheels could not get traction, and due to a preexisting back injury, Porter was not able to climb to safety.

For three days, the man was trapped in his car. He had less than 8 ounces of water to stay hydrated with as temperatures rose above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Convinced he was dying, Porter found a pen and wrote his last will and testament on the armrest between the front seats. He explained that the crash had been accidental, not a suicide, and requested a closed-casket funeral. In a humorous touch, he directed the local homeowners' association to improve the dirt road.

When a neighbor spotted the car, Porter was too weak to roll down the window. Still, rescuers reached him in time, and he has recovered enough to speak to news outlets. He told KENS that he plans to devote more time and give more money to charities.

Other people who, like Porter, want to contribute money to charities might establish a living trust, which allows for the creation of inheritance structures and payouts during his or her lifetime.