August 24, 2022

A Dark Approach to Leaving a Legacy

Author: Shayne Sommer
Category: Family Inheritance

Sarah approached the grand ballroom with some trepidation. She wore a sleek silver dress and stilettos, totally befitting the look, if not yet the feel, of the role ahead of her. Truthfully, she knew she wasn’t nervous about the work, managing the financials of The Dark Foundation would be quite simple compared to the other accounts she managed day to day.

This side of the role, stepping into the realms of society and attending fundraisers, this wasn’t her forte at all. Sarah accepted a champagne flute from a passing waiter. The bubbles tickled her nose and were resonant of the butterflies in her stomach. A harder drink would have done more to settle her nerves. She took a sip, and then a deep breath.

She was greeted by the gentleman to her left. Sarah looked up at the man, he looked familiar, but she knew they’d never met – she would have remembered making his acquaintance.

His dark brown eyes had embers of almond within them, and his voice was smooth like melted chocolate. His hair was obsidian and even though she could tell he was freshly shaven, a five o’clock shadow was already surfacing. Talking to him couldn’t be all that bad. Before she could respond he added, “Oh, you’re Sarah Knight – I was hoping to meet you this evening.”

Sarah scanned for his name tag, and it became obvious why he looked familiar – this was Scott Dark, the newly appointed Chairman of the Foundation. It surprised her that he knew of her name already – he had only been confirmed as Chairman recently, even more recently than her own appointment just weeks ago.

Patriarch Anderson Dark had established the Dark Foundation at the height of his career, and there was much controversy upon his passing. His son, Desmond Dark, had tried to shut down the organisation, as it would reduce the Estate due to him and his family, including his son Scott.

The Dark family’s financial affairs had been splashed over tabloids for several years, ever since “Desmond’s Demise”, where it was determined in court that all of Anderson’s wealth would skip Desmond and be distributed amongst Scott, his older brother Nate and younger sister Penelope to administer.

None of the Dark family had been a part of the Foundation since Anderson’s passing, and eyebrows were raised when Scott was rumoured to interested in becoming Chairman and his ultimate intentions. He must have read her mind while these thoughts dominated Sarah’s thinking.

“A lot has been said in the press about my family and the money that has moved between generations. It’s important to me to continue my grandfather’s legacy.”

There was a hint of disdain in his voice, and Sarah wasn’t sure what to say next. “People are interested when there’s significant sums of money involved,” she offered.

“People are more interested when there’s scandal attached to significant sums of money.”

“They’re more interested when there’s scandal attached to significant sums of money”, he countered, and took a large swig of his own drink. A wry smile crept across his face.

“At least my grandfather made it clear where he wanted the money to go,” Scott added “unlike Prince, the rockstar, he died without a Will, it’s the lawyers making the most out of his estate!” Sarah nodded,

“In my work, I see a lot of inheritances go to places they weren’t intended,” she informed him.

Scott reciprocated her nod, adding, “I’m sure you do. Let’s ensure we get Dark Foundation scholarships to deserving teens as my grandfather intended,” he toasted to her flute of champagne, and she sipped the remaining bubbly in the glass.

“You now, Sarah,” he began, “this could be a tough job you’ve taken on, I imagine it’s hard to make money live on in perpetuity while your main activity is giving it away,” he quipped.

“I think I’ll be able to help with that,” she offered, and he gave her a knowing wink.

“If that’s true, you may need to stay involved in perpetuity as well,” and he handed her a fresh champagne flute as a waiter passed.

Living a legacy with Scott Dark; there was a bonus to this role she hadn’t contemplated, and it made attending fundraising events something she would start looking forward to.

Some therapists have found that couples would rather discuss their sex lives or even their infidelities than discuss their finances, and many people pass away without having effective Estate planning arrangements in place.

While conversations about money and contemplating losing a loved one may not be easy, it’s important to consider the consequences of leaving intentions unsaid. A difficult conversation now could ensure you and your loved ones leave the legacy they desire.


Atwood, J.D. (2012) Couples and Money: The Last Taboo. American Journal of Family Therapy, 40(1), 1-19

Carlson, Rob (2021) Prince’s Estate Has Valuable Estate Planning Lessons For Us Forbes

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