Estate-Planning Errors of the Rich and Famous

Estate-Planning Errors of the Rich and Famous

You’d think they would know better – they have the recourses to hire the best advisors and garner the wisest advice.

Yet the rich, talented, gifted and doggone lucky winners in our society often make the gaudiest of estate planning faux pas. The result: beneficiaries undeserving, children unprovided and estates intestate. In terms of estate planning mistakes, it would seem they’re just human.

Let’s examine that truism: where do people go wrong in planning for the future of their estate?

Consider the case of that stellar musician, Prince. He left an estate estimated at around $200 million. Immeasurable talent; endless charisma; he left no will, alas. His money is still tied up in court. If you don’t want a judge you’ve never met who has no notion of your life, values or desires to distribute your wealth, then start planning your estate today.

Poor Barry White, whose songs were all about love, should have thought more about divorce. He died while separated; his long-term girlfriend and children received nothing from his estate, while his estranged wife got it all. Divorce is a dire process, but allowing it to drag on, while perhaps understandable, is a terrible error from an estate planning viewpoint.

Marlon Brando – supreme actor, sometimes impenetrable as a person. He left a good will, but his housekeeper of long standing said he’d promised her his house – perhaps true, but nowhere to be found in writing. The matter went to court; it dragged on. She received a settlement, but not what she and perhaps Brando had wanted.

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No matter how carefully worded and frequently tweaked and updated, wills can become grounds for contention. For this reason, some individuals create trusts for their wealth. A trust can keep your assets out of probate court and hold the tax man at bay, too. If you’re wise, as well as healthy and wealthy, have a talk about trusts with your financial advisor soon.

For more information, please read:
6 Estate-Planning Mistakes Celebrities Made | Kiplnger


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