This week, The New York Times published an article describing, unfortunately, a common occurrence in estate administration and probate. Robin Williams, married to his second wife, had three children from his first marriage. His estate plan attempted to provide for both his second wife and his children from the first marriage. Estate planning for a blended family is almost an art, because you have to balance many sensitive issues.
Six months after his death, the conflict seems to be centered over the personal property left in his home, particularly valuable items linked to his career.
Whether Robin Williams had $30 million or $300,000, it wouldn’t matter. We’ve seen estates for celebrities that have no money, but relatives fight over their namesake and the personal property and collectibles.
For ordinary folks, we often feel that celebrity estate planning mistakes won’t happen to us. However, the same principles apply whether celebrity or not. Family is family, and conflicts are bound to occur if (1) the estate plan is not set up properly and reviewed regularly, (2) you haven’t clearly communicated your intentions to your loved ones, and (3) you left some ambiguity in your will or trust.
If you need assistance with your estate planning, contact The Law Offices of Jeremy A. Wechsler today at (215) 706-0200. The only good estate plan is an updated estate plan.