There are numerous examples of famous people who have died without a will or who had an outdated will or a poorly drafted trust. Some of these examples have resulted in disastrous consequences after an untimely death. Anna Nicole Smith died leaving everything to her son who predeceased her and apparently had no provision for later born children or for her long time partner Howard Stern. Heath Ledger died with an outdated will that left his estate to his parents and sisters with no mention of his daughter or girlfriend Michelle Williams, the mother of his daughter.
It is doubtful that these celebrities intended for these consequences to occur if they died suddenly. They certainly had the ability to retain the best estate planning attorneys in the country. While some blame has to rest with the individuals themselves for not updating their wills to provide for partners and children born after their wills were prepared, it seems apparent that the original documents which were prepared failed to anticipate future events. Since properly worded documents were not prepared to anticipate the future, these celebrities were deprived of the ability to decide such things are how their children would inherit assets, who would be in charge of the money during the time they were minors, who would invest the money, or who they would have preferred to care for their children if both parents died.
Just like these celebrities, you need an experienced estate planning attorney that will determine the appropriate estate plan for you and draft documents that will stand the test of time. Such documents need to remain effective if you have another child in years to come, if a child predeceases you, or there is a common disaster that may involve your entire family. At the law firm of Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation we can assist you with an estate plan that will anticipate future events in your life and remain viable for many years after its execution. Call us or e mail us to take advantage of a complimentary and personal consultation about this or any other estate planning issue.