Special Reports

Trusts established for Brame children

On Oct. 27, 2000, David and Crystal Brame signed virtually identical wills, bequeathing their property, money, jewelry, silver, china, paintings and cars to each other and to their children.

The wills were filed recently in Pierce County Superior Court, after the Tacoma police chief shot his wife and killed himself April 26. Crystal Brame died May 3.

The 30-page documents - the same except for the couple's names - created trusts for their children, 8-year-old Haley and 5-year-old David Jr. The Brames nominated Crystal Brame's sister Julie Ahrens to take care of the children if both parents died, and to disburse money from the trusts.

Crystal Brame's parents, Lane and Patty Judson, have temporary custody of the children. After the shootings, they filed for custody to keep them in the Gig Harbor home where they'd been living with their grandparents and mother.

The Judsons have said that eventually Julie Ahrens and her husband, David, will raise Haley and David Jr.

David and Crystal Brame stated in their wills that they didn't want their children to be separated if they became orphans.

Wills can be contested, just as lawsuits can be filed. When that happens, a judge decides.

The Brames' wills state that their personal effects should go to the respective spouse as long as that spouse survives the other by 30 days.

"If my spouse does not survive me by 30 days," the documents state, "I give the balance of my property, both real and personal; or upon the death of my spouse, I give the balance of my trust estate, as the case may be to Julie DeShawn Ahrens, as trustee ... "

Ahrens would hold that trust as long as the children are younger than 21. She can use money from the trust to support the children and pay for their health care and education, the wills say.

They say the children, regardless of their ages, can use money from the trust to go to college, trade school or professional school.

When the Brames' children each turn 21, they can receive up to 10 percent of their share of the trust. When they turn 25, they'll receive a third of the principal of their funds. When they turn 30, they'll receive half of the principal. And when they turn 35, they will receive the rest of their funds.

The wills also dictated that neither David nor Crystal Brame wanted to be cremated.

Karen Hucks: 253-597-8660