Four generations of Henry Smith's siblings have been waiting for 90 years, for only two of the qualified heirs, Emily and Jacob, brother and sister, to turn sixteen by 2006 and enter into genealogy battle with their numerous ancestors and trustees about what being the "smartest" heir means.
Henry Smith, who made his fortune by discovering gold in California during the Gold Rush and his future investments, signed his will in 1917 at the age of 86. With an unusual precision, he left his 35-year-old son George without the money. Smith was angry that his son was not married, did not have siblings, and was planning to join the United States Army in the battlefield in Europe during WWI, where he could be possibly killed.
Instead, he signed his inheritance to some unknown great-great-grandchild, to be born in the future, and he died shortly afterward. That made his son change his mind, marry soon, have a son named James, and manage the destiny of his other siblings, so they would keep the family dynasty alive for another three generations in order to get the inheritance.
The family line almost stopped when James's only son David was killed in Vietnam in 1964. His father was forced to remarry, and at the age of 47 he and his new wife Linda had another son, Michael. Michael, now 40, and his wife Jennifer, have two children, Emily, 17, and Jacob, 16, who are the straight heirs of their great-great-grandfather Henry.
The judicial problem with selecting the right heir for billion-dollar assets is that even though the children have agreed to share the money equally, they still must compete with each other, because legally the inheritance should be given to only one: the smartest child.
Rules of competition between Emily and Jacob have been set by the board of trustees, who might hold the funds until the
contest is over.
Emily and Jacob must square off to find the "smartest heir" - by winning the chess-style card game called "The Heirs".
The pack of genealogical playing cards, called "Six Generations," should be used to play "The Heirs." Instead of using an entire 72-card deck, which was designed by Six Generations Publishing in 2004 to play family history "Six Generations Card Game," "The Heirs" need to be played with 32 cards only. Two players, one of them helping Emily, and another helping Jacob, must open cards with all their ancestors in five generations, placed at random, and have them join the thrilling fight for the inheritance.