Wendy and Jen Wreck the Movies: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), or “It Ain’t Over til All the Whos in Whoville Sing”

December 15, 2022 | Jennifer F. Hillman | Wendy Hoey Sheinberg | Trusts & Estates

What Happened:

The Grinch lives alone in a mountaintop cave with his dog, Max, and no medical attention for his undersized heart and oversized unpleasantness. The Grinch observes the noisy holiday festivities of Whoville from afar. The happy racket fuels his anger and furthers his feelings of isolation. In a misguided attempt to salve his wounds, the Grinch creates a criminal conspiracy with Max to divest Whoville of all holiday accoutrements, in the hope of silencing the holiday sounds, dampening spirits and spreading general grinchiness. The Grinch steals the gifts and holiday decorations, but his nearly perfect crime is witnessed by Cindy Lou Who. The Grinch makes a hasty retreat to his alpine lair with his contraband.

Having abstained from all holiday movies, the Grinch did not know that holiday spirit comes from the heart, not a store. The lack of gifts and tinsel do nothing to silence the Whos because the Whos know that joy comes from within. The Grinch witnesses the continued joy of the Whos and somehow (against all medical odds), his undersized heart grows. The Grinch sees the error of his ways, returns the stolen gifts and decorations to Whoville and all ends well with the Whos welcoming the Grinch to join the Whoville celebration.

What Happens Next:

Wendy receives an invitation addressed to Wendy Who Sheinberg inviting her and a guest to a party hosted by Cindy Lou Who.

Not understanding where the invitation came from (but always up for a festive party), Wendy and her plus one, Jen, make their way to Whoville. At the party, Wendy, Jen and Cindy Lou laugh after learning that Cindy Lou assumed Wendy Hoey Sheinberg was part of the lost Irish Whos whose name was mangled into Hoey generations ago.

Cindy Lou introduces Wendy and Jen to her friend, Mr. Grinch, and his dog, Max. Mr. Grinch tells Wendy and Jen that noise really bothers him and about his recently enlarged heart. Mr. Grinch confides that, because of his health issues, he worries that Max will outlive him. Mr. Grinch tells Wendy and Jen that he has accumulated a large estate. He wants to leave his estate to Max and all the citizens of Whoville so they can continue to spread joy. After the Grinch agrees to see a cardiologist and an audiologist, Wendy and Jen give the Grinch the telephone number for  their assistant, Dannette, so he can schedule a planning meeting.

At the meeting, the Grinch tells Wendy and Jen that the ringing in his ears is tinnitus, but he is responding well to treatment. The cardiologist also assured the Grinch that his actual heart is just fine and not enlarged at all, it just feels bigger because he opened it to the Whos.

Wendy and Jen then explain that Max cannot inherit money in his own name, but that a special pet trust can be established to take care of Max. The pet trust can be funded with liquid assets and the deed to the cave. The trustee of the pet trust can make distributions to make sure that Max stays well fed and cared for in the cave with a caretaker or allow the trustee to sell the cave and buy a house for Max with proper heating.

Wendy and Jen also suggest creating a private foundation for the preservation of Whoville’s culture of spreading joy and sparkly things. Mr. Grinch enlists Cindy Lou Who to help him craft a mission statement for the foundation – Grinch No More (GNM) – and he selects some of the most dynamic Whos as board members to carry out GNM’s mission.

Wendy and Jen tell the Grinch and the GNM board members that their law firm, Rivkin Radler LLP, helps to fulfill holiday wishes for clients of The Safe Center. The GNM crew also join in the holiday festivities by participating in the Safe Center’s Holiday Gift Card Drive.

If you are charitably minded (no matter the actual size of your heart), you should meet with knowledgeable estate counsel to advise you concerning your options. Save the drama for the movies.

Happy Drama Free Holidays from Wendy, Jen and all the Whos!!!

Information on the Safe Center’s Holiday Gift Card Drive is available at https://tscli.org/support-us/holiday-gift-card-drive/. Tell them the Whos sent you.

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