Some celebrity estates are discussed endlessly. Everyone hears about the mistakes they made. Other celebrity estate planning mistakes go little noticed, but they can be just as important.
Celebrities are perhaps more aware than anyone else, how the media can sometimes appear to randomly decide to focus on one thing and not something else. Some celebrity marriages or breakups are discussed endlessly, while others are barely mentioned at all. The difference between the two is not always clear.
The same thing happens with celebrity deaths and estates.
The estates of some celebrities are the subject of headline after headline, usually pointing out mistakes that are made. For example, the estates of Robin Williams, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson are well-known because of the mistakes in estate planning and the family feuds that ensued.
Other celebrity estate plans and their mistakes are not mentioned as often, but they can also be instructive.
Recently, the Lamorinda Weekly mentioned a couple of these lesser known mistakes in "Avoid These Celebrity Mistakes With Your Estate Plan," including:
- Failure to Update - Actor Heath Ledger prepared a comprehensive estate plan that left provisions for his parents and his sisters. However, he never updated his plans after his daughter was born and, as a result, she was not even mentioned in the plans. It did end well, however, with the family putting the bulk of the estate in a trust for her benefit.
- The Hidden Estate Plan - Florence Griffith Joyner also went to the trouble of getting an estate plan. The problem was that she did not tell anyone where to find the plan. No one was ever able to locate her will and the estate was only settled after four years of bitter fighting between her family members. Regardless of your celebrity status, contact a qualified estate planning attorney to do things right and to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
Reference: Lamorinda Weekly (Dec. 28, 2016) "Avoid These Celebrity Mistakes With Your Estate Plan."
If you would like to discuss setting up your Estate Plan, please contact an experienced attorney at Simmons & Schiavo, LLP. Please call (781) 397-1700 or visit our contact us webpage.