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3 celebrity estate planning lessons we can learn from

When it comes to estate planning, you can never be too safe or too prepared. If there is anything that celebrities have taught us, it is that proper estate planning can help you make life easier for your loved ones after you die. No, the estate plan you make won't take away their emotional pain, but it can help them to avoid undue stresses if it is properly set up in accordance with Texas law.

First, let's look at Casey Kasem. His final months were plagued with strife in his family. His wife was fighting against his children. The battle was taken to the courtroom. Time that his loved ones could have spent with him were spent fighting. He might have been able to prevent this if he had made his final wishes clear to everyone who was involved in his life. One thing that might help to do this is through a healthcare directive.

Next, let's look at Robin Williams. Prior to his death, he set up trusts for his children. Those irrevocable trusts would have kept the trust issues private except for one issue. That issue was that the trustee he had named passed away. The co-trustee had to file the trust documents to get a new trustee appointed. This shows us that you have to make sure that your estate planning documents are up to date so that situations like this one won't occur.

Lastly, let's consider Michael Crichton. His estate planning debacle further emphasizes the point of needing to keep estate planning documents updated. He died while his wife was pregnant. That child wasn't included in the will. To make matters worse, the will excluded future children from any inheritance. Now, his son's mother and Crichton's adult daughter are left to battle this out in court.

A solid estate plan can give you peace in your final days, especially if your immediate family members are well aware of your intentions. It is important that you ensure your estate plan is valid according to Texas law. You also have to make sure your wishes are conveyed in a clear manner that doesn't leave anything to chance.

Source: Forbes.com, "Lessons Celebrities Can Teach Retirees About Estate Planning" Thomas and Robert Fross, Sep. 16, 2014

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