3 Estate Planning Lessons From the Rich and Famous

Estate planning mistakes have cost more than one rich and famous person the chance to pass their wealth on to the next generation. Estate planning is also important for those who are neither rich nor famous. Avoid these three mistakes when planning your estate.

1. Write a Will

Perhaps because they died relatively young, music giants Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse and Prince all passed away with no will. Failure to write a will can lead to bitter disputes among surviving family members over how to divide the estate, such as the 30-year battle that followed Marley’s death and resulted in multiple lawsuits. An attorney, such as John Branca, can help you draft a will so that your family is not put in this difficult position when you die.

2. Be Specific

It may seem like a good idea to indicate your assets should be dived equally among your children or other heirs; however, the property is not always easily evenly split up and disputes, such as the one that led the sons of Audrey Hepburn to court in 2015, can arise. It is better to specifically state which property should go to which heir so that arguments are less likely to arise. An estate attorney can help you choose the right language to make sure your intentions are clear.

3. Keep it Up to Date

Writing a will early on can be a good idea, but it is important to update it is your situation changes. Heath Ledger famously failed to update his will to account for the birth of his child. It worked out for Heath, but failing to update your will as your estate and your family changes can have disastrous results.

When disputes arise over a celebrity estate, it is big news, but failures in estate planning can also impact regular people. Make sure you avoid these three estate planning mistakes.

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