last will and testament

Some mistakes in estate planning for celebrities draw little notice but can still be a major problem.

Celebrity deaths and estates can sometimes be the subject of headline after headline such as the estates of Robin Williams, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson. The estates are well-known because of the mistakes in the plan and the family feuds that ensued.

Other celebrity estate plans and their mistakes are not mentioned as often, but they can also be instructive, as discussed recently by the Lamorinda Weekly in “Avoid These Celebrity Mistakes With Your Estate Plan.”

The mistakes include:

  • 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.

An estate planning attorney can guide you through the process of creating an estate plan that meets the needs of your unique circumstances, regardless of your celebrity or non-celebrity status.

Reference: Lamorinda Weekly (Dec. 28, 2016) “Avoid These Celebrity Mistakes With Your Estate Plan.”

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.