Celebrity estate planning errors and how to avoid them

| Sep 6, 2018 | Estate Planning |

Many Texas residents follow the lives of celebrities online or in the tabloids. Their opulent lifestyles may seem exotic and glamorous. However, certain issues they face are the same as everyone else, albeit on a larger scale. Problems may arise in estate planning for anyone, regardless of the amount of assets. Experts have cited mistakes some celebrities have made in their estate plans, though the errors could occur with anyone.

One of the biggest pitfalls is simply not having an estate plan in place. This certainly was an issue when the entertainer Prince passed away. Though he died in 2016, his estate is still not settled. It is also extremely important to update the beneficiaries of an estate. If not, assets may not go to the persons intended, such as in the cases of Barry White or Heath Ledger.

Financial advisers strongly recommend that any intentions for division of property be thoroughly documented. If not, there is no way to prove that someone meant for a particular asset to be passed on to a specific person. Marlon Brando reportedly told a former employee she would receive a home after he died, but it was never put in writing.

There would be a major problem if an estate plan is not accessible to family members. The survivors of Florence Griffith-Joyner believe she had a will; however, they were unable to locate it. Finally, a trust may have been established, yet no funding was made to it. Michael Jackson’s entire estate worth around $500 million was not included in the trust intended for his children. This forced his family to wait as the will went through the probate process for several years.

Estate planning should be a integral component of someone’s comprehensive retirement plans. An experienced Texas attorney can provide guidance through all the complexities of estate administration. A trusted lawyer will help clients develop plans that ensure their estates will be distributed in the manner they intended.