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Learning From The Estate Planning Mistakes Of Celebrities


Even though it seems like celebrities face a completely different set of problems from the rest of us, we can’t stop being curious about them; this idea has endured through supermarket tabloid magazines, reality television, and the era of Internet celebrities.  Death is the great equalizer, though.  The same estate laws apply whether you are a star, a nobody, or anywhere in between.  Likewise, the same estate planning mistakes that can lead to prolonged probate battles if your estate is worth millions can also cause problems if the value of your estate is more modest.  Even if you have never flown on a private jet and your name has never appeared on the silver screen, the best way to reduce the time and expense of probate is to work on your estate plan with an Orlando estate planning lawyer.

Update Your Will as Soon as You Reconcile With an Estranged Relative

You have the right to disinherit any family member you choose if you become estranged, or even if you are nice to each other’s faces but you secretly believe that the family member does not deserve to inherit from you.  If you reconcile with a disinherited family member, you should write him or her back into your will.  If you make amends with a relative but never get around to rewriting your will, then the lack of inheritance will feel like the ultimate rejection.

Case in point, David Cassidy, a singer and TV star whose name will be familiar to Baby Boomers and Generation X, disinherited his daughter Katie.  Cassidy separated from Katie’s mother when Katie was a baby, and she grew up with her mother and stepfather; she did not have a close relationship with her biological father until she was an adult.  Unfortunately, Cassidy never got around to updating his will to include a share of the estate for Katie.  The result was a legal battle during probate.

Let Someone Know Where You Are Keeping Your Will

Florence Griffith-Joyner, a track and field athlete known for her record-breaking speed as well as her unique style of athletic wear, died an untimely death at age 38, but she had the wisdom to write a will.  Unfortunately, none of her family members knew where she kept her will, and years passed before they were able to find it.  Her estate did not settle until four years after she died.

Transfer Property to Your Revocable Trust When You Establish It

Michael Jackson died in 2009, and his estate is still open.  Jackson’s net worth at the time of his death was in the hundreds of millions, and his assets have only increased in value since his death.  The enormous value of his estate is one complicating factor in probate, but another is that, even though Jackson established a trust, he had not fully funded it by the time he died.

Contact Gierach and Gierach About Updating Your Estate Plan

An estate planning lawyer can help you make the necessary changes to your estate plan.  Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.



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