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Futile gesture by Seattle couple that left estate to government

The government spent a couple's estate in less than 10 seconds, which is why KIRO Radio's Dori Monson believes it was a waste. (AP photo)

Start a timer. Stop it when it reaches 7.6 seconds.

That’s how fast the government spent a West Seattle couple’s entire estate, which was left to the Department of Treasury in their wills. Their wills totaled $847,215.57.

Though it was a nice gesture, being portrayed as a feel-good story, the money could have been donated to a much better cause, KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson said.

Peter and Joan Petrasek did not have children, The Seattle Times reports. The immigrants chose to give back to the government that provided for them.

Peter died on May 5, 2012. His wife predeceased him by 13 years, the Times reports. It took about three years to have their estate put in order, including selling off their belongings.

The check was made out to the Department of Treasury in April.

The money would have been better used at a charity, Dori said. With the U.S. government’s tremendous debt, the amount the Petrasek’s willed is gobbled up in less than eight seconds.

“They could actually impact lives, instead of feeding the monster,” Dori added.

The couple’s money would have lasted longer if it had been burned, Dori’s producer, Jake Skorheim, said.

The only way donating one’s estate would benefit the government is if the budget was balanced. And “we’re getting really close to balancing the budget…” Dori said sarcastically.

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