Money is often the cause of arguments.
They do it as children.
They do it as adults.
Some are petty.
Some carry more weight.
According to a recent Napa Valley Register article titled “Wealthy Napa businessman's heirs seek answers about $92 million estate,” the argument between two daughters of Ed Keith is one of the latter.
It involves the estate of their father.
An estate estimated at about $92 million.
What is the fight over exactly?
Lisa Keith is suspicious of her sister Celeste White’s actions in her role as co-trustee of their father's estate.
Lisa has filed a lawsuit seeking an accounting from her sister regarding the purchase of a Land Rover for a winery and a $2.4 million condo in Santa Barbara, a $15 million investment in real estate property, and the construction of a stable for polo ponies.
Lisa believes Celeste should refund about $1.8 million to the trust her father established.
The Napa County Superior Court has denied her request for an accounting of funds from her father’s foundation.
She is not a beneficiary or a director of the foundation.
Lisa is, however, a beneficiary of the trust.
As such, she still wants an accounting of those funds.
The trust had been set up by Ed Keith to distribute $10 million to a winery, $2 million to his grandchildren, and $1 million to each of his five children.
Half of the remaining $76 million was to go to the Edward A. Keith Foundation to benefit disadvantaged youths.
After bills were paid, $9.2 million remained to be split amongst his children.
The other $38 million was to be divided equally among Keith’s five children. After all the bills were paid, there was $9.2 million left to be split among the five siblings.
Lisa believes Celeste is getting far more.
Celeste and her husband are co-trustees.
They take $300,000 annually in trustee fees.
Lisa believes they are using the trust and foundation to fund their own lavish lifestyles while managing the foundation in a way her father never intended.
Lisa also claims she and her other siblings were removed as directors of the foundation by her sister.
Do you want to avoid a situation like this?
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a plan to fit your needs and goals.
He or she will also be able to help facilitate a conversation with your family so they are all aware of your wishes before you die.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Napa Valley Register (February 3, 2018) “Wealthy Napa businessman's heirs seek answers about $92 million estate”