Before you start planning your estate, it's important to understand the lay of the land. For example, what kinds of things do you want your estate plan to achieve, and how will you go about planning your estate to achieve them? Because most estate planners and will drafters don't know what they need or what options are available, estate planning attorneys are skilled at asking their clients the following questions:
Not long after the death of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, it was revealed that his estate held a seemingly low value of approximately $1.2 million. However, the seemingly low value of Bourdain's estate is not likely the true amount of the late chef's estate because the TV star also had a confidential trust, the details of which will remain unknown.
Substance abuse is a common problem and most families have at least one person who is struggling with it. If you have someone like this in your family, and you plan to leave this person a sizable inheritance, the situation presents a unique estate planning challenge: How do you leave money to someone with a substance problem while preventing the individual from spending it on a potentially life-threatening addiction?
Probate is the legal process that happens after someone dies. Probate court proceedings will determine the assets that someone has left behind and how to distribute them to heirs. If your loved one or relative has died, and probate proceedings are about to begin, here's what you can expect from the process:
When two different versions of a will exist, it can create confusion for the heirs and beneficiaries -- especially if the two versions set forth drastically different asset distribution plans. Not only does this create the potential for family in-fighting, but can also result in the wishes of the original creator of the will to not be adhered to.
The unfortunate deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade highlight the issue of estate planning when separated, but not yet divorced. In both of these tragic celebrity suicides, Kate and Bourdain had separated from their spouses. These cases reveal the complexities that can arise in such cases, when marital estate laws still apply, even though the couples weren't really together anymore as couples.
Actor Alan Thicke unexpectedly passed away from a ruptured aorta in December 2016. Although the actor took the time to build an estate plan intended to provide for his wife and sons, the Thicke family has since fallen into a disagreement regarding the dispensation of the late actor's estate. According to Thicke's widow, Tayna Callau, her stepsons, Robin and Brennan, have been hiding details with regard to her estate dispensation -- which she has yet to receive approximately a year and a half after her husband's death.
When it comes to divulging your estate plans to your children, you might be tempted to keep it a secret -- and you won't be alone. Many parents would rather not have such heavy discussion with their kids. Perhaps you don't want to make your children feel bad by talking about your death. Or, maybe you're worried that your children will react badly to your estate plans and disagree with the way you hope to divvy up your estate.
The billionaire cryptocurrency investor Matthew Mellon was found dead at a hotel room in Cancun only a day before he was supposed to check into a drug rehab facility. The facility said that the man arrived in Cancun with an entourage on a private plane last Sunday, but he never made it to the rehab center.
Just like everyone else who is planning their estates, celebrities know that they "can't take it with them." For this reason, the smartest celebrities create a detailed estate plan that ensures their children are properly taken care of when they're gone. That said, you might be surprised by just how well-taken care of some children of celebrities actually are.