Lessons from the Rich & Famous

Preparing for the Unexpected

There are lessons to be learned from many sources in life, one of which can be the “rich and famous.”

Today’s lesson is simple: If you want to keep some things private, do a trust. If you only do a will, a will is a public document.

James Gandolini (Tony Soprano) had only a will for a majority of his 70 million estate. In addition to making his estate plan accessible to the public, his failure to have a trust exposed 80% of his estate to the Estate tax. Not a good plan.

Of course, wills are important too. Amy Winehouse didn’t have a Will, so her $6.7 million went to her parents, which is what the law dictated. Did she want all of her assets to go to her parents? What about her brother? What about a charity? We will never know. Without a Will, the law of the State where you live decides the distribution of any asset that isn’t jointly owned, doesn’t have a beneficiary designation, or isn’t in a trust.

These are only a couple of examples of the unexpected things that can happen to us. As always, if you have questions about these or similar matters you should consult your estate planning attorney.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *