Just when you forget about some newsworthy event ... it comes back around.
So is the estate of Robin Williams.
More details of Robin Williams' 2014 suicide became available last week, when his widow Susan Williams revealed new and shocking details about his battle with Lewy body dementia.
That is a brain disease that causes hallucinations and severe anxiety.
The website thestreet.com posted an article, titled “Nasty Fight Over Robin Williams' $50 Million Fortune Shows Importance of Estate Planning,” which said that the back story about the comedian’s struggles, including brain disease, only makes it more painful for his fans around the world.
However, money made this sad story even worse.
Williams' death was so unexpected, his heirs had a tough time making sense of his will.
His three children from two previous marriages and his widow fought a bitter court battle to divide up the estimated $50 million estate.
For her part, Williams' widow said the process was extremely painful.
In addition to the money, there was a valuable collection of clothing, collectibles and memorabilia. High-priced lawyers went through his homes, safes, and papers trying to determine what Williams really intended. This was despite the fact that Williams had made a will and had signed a prenup with his wife.
We can all learn from this.
You must prepare very carefully for the sudden death of your spouse.
Do it today.
To assist you, thestreet.com’s article includes a 10-Point Checklist to help you to make some preparations ahead of time.
Click on over and check it out.
Be sure to engage the services of an experienced estate planning attorney to help you get it right.
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: thestreet.com (November 11, 2015) “Nasty Fight Over Robin Williams' $50 Million Fortune Shows Importance of Estate Planning”