Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Where Were Their Advisors?

Great Read from InsuranceNewsNet

Estate Planning Failures of the Rich and Famous

Sometimes you just can't write a better piece than the one you just read. That's the case with Steven A. Morelli's fascinating and funny article, "Estate Planning Failures of the Rich and Famous."

The article was featured in the May issue of InsuranceNewsNet Magazine, where the author is editor-in-chief. The publication might not sound sexy, but Morelli provides witty anecdotes and insights on estate planning fiascos one might not expect from some very smart people who surely had the means to hire competent advisors.

Bottom line: Even when you think you've crossed all your 't's and dotted all your 'i's, things can go wrong after you've passed on.

The late Sherman Helmsley


Sherman Helmsley (George Jefferson from "The Jeffersons") passed away in 2012 from lung cancer. After he died, his half-brother, Richard Thornton, came out of the woodwork demanding Helmsley's entire estate ($50,000). No one Helmsley was close with had heard of Thornton but tests proved he was a blood relative. Because Helmsley didn't explicitly mention anything about Thornton in his will and because he signed it six weeks before he died, Thornton had ground to stand on.

Morelli notes: "In Helmsley's case, a judge said his half-brother could contest the will but followed Helmsley's wishes to be buried in El Paso."

The late Whitney Houston


We all remember the untimely death of Whitney Houston back in 2012.

When Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown was born, Houston never drew up a new will. She simply added a clause that said Bobbi would gain 10% of the estate when she turns 21, 20% when she turns 25, and the rest at age 30. Houston's mother is saying that Houston would have preferred that her daughter receive a lifetime stream of money instead of the lump sum.

What was Houston's intention? There's no way to tell, so it's left up to a judge to decide. A good way to remedy this is to clearly state intentions, which can be done with a video will.

Do What You Do Best, and Let Benay Do the Rest!

There are some good lessons to take away from these stories. One, even best laid plans goes awry. Two and more importantly, expert planning is everything.

Having the proper advisors for personal and business estate planning coverage is important, and one of our jobs here at Benay is to ensure that our clients have all their bases covered, estate planning included. We make sure that each client, through trusted advisors in all fields of business, has the proper estate planning for their specific needs.

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