Charlie and Lois O’Brien are a pair among the top entomologists in the world. They have spent their lives traveling all seven continents, studying and collecting insects. Now 83 and 89, respectively, they have amassed a collection that contains over one million insects and is valued around $10 million.

weevil insect on a yellow flower

Over the past six decades, the pair have visited more than 70 countries, combing the landscape for weevils, planthoppers, and other insects. Now retired, they have slowed down their adventuring and work on pinning and labeling the specimens they have already gathered. More than half of the insects are labeled, but some still remain unidentified by science. As they are growing older, the O’Briens have recently decided to donate their expansive collection to Arizona State University’s entomology department. They have also included an endowment of $2 million to create a university position dedicated to identifying new insect species.

“Since we have no children, this became our life’s work,” Charlie told The Guardian. By donating the collection and endowment to a university, the O’Briens hope to help researchers learn more about the insect world.

If you have a collection like the O’Briens, make sure you are in control of where it ends up. For Wills, Trust Administration, and Estate Planning contact Glenn R. Matecun by calling (517) 548-7400 in Livingston County and (586) 751-0779 in Macomb County. To learn more about how to protect your assets and to find out what goes into a Will or Trust check out our video “Do I need a Will or a Living Trust?”

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