paper bills and coins

Important lessons about estate planning can often reach the general public through issues over celebrities’ estates. 2014 has been a busy year for such lessons.

Americans are fascinated by the lives and deaths of celebrities. When a celebrity passes away, the public wants to know how his or her estate will be distributed.

Oftentimes the public scrutiny reveals mistakes that have been made in either the planning of the estate or in its administration.

In that spirit, the Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof Blog recentlypublished a list of lessons from celebrity estates this year in an article titled Year’s Review of Celebrity Estate Planning Lessons.”

The list includes:

  • Patrick Swayze – Allegations that his will was forged emerged five years after his death. However, that was too late to challenge the will.
  • Tom Clancy – His estate planning documents were ambiguous and that has led to family conflicts.
  • Lou Reed – Because he relied on a will only, the full details of his estate have been made open to public scrutiny.
  • Paul Walker – His will was made 12 years before passed away and never updated.
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman – He did not consider the tax consequences of his estate plan for his children.
  • Robin Williams – He did things correctly. By relying on trusts, the details of his estate were kept private to protect his family.

Follow the original article for more lessons learned from celebrity estates in 2014.

Visit an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure that you do not make the same mistakes.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (December 7, 2014) Year’s Review of Celebrity Estate Planning Lessons

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