Estate planning mistakes of the rich and famous

A misconception that is held by many is that estate planning is only for wealthy individuals. Not true! Without an estate plan in place, settling your affairs after your death can be time-consuming, stressful, and costly for your loved ones.

Regardless of the size of the estate, it is important to have a plan and to revisit and update that plan after important life events have occurred, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child. Those that have not sought the advice of an estate planning expert have experienced costly estate planning mistakes.

Consider the following examples of estate planning mistakes that some very well-known rich and famous celebrities made that could have been or were very costly to their heirs:

  • The singer, Prince, never made a will. After his sudden death in 2016, he died “intestate” which means that the process of dividing up and settling his $200 million estate was left to the state of Minnesota. 
  • When actor Heath Ledger died in 2008 at the age of 28, he had a will in which he left everything to his parents and three sisters. He wrote the will before his daughter was born, but never updated the beneficiaries in his will to include his daughter and her mother.
  • Michael Jackson created a revocable living trust designed to protect his $500 million estate so that his wealth could be transferred to his children and his mother when he died. But he never funded the trust. Therefore, his entire estate had to go through the time-consuming and costly probate process.

All too common mistakes

Just like celebrities without an estate plan or the rich and famous who do not update theirs after noteworthy events in their lives, you could find yourself in the same situation. Common mistakes include:

  • Not updating your beneficiaries
  • Not putting verbal promises in writing
  • Setting up a living trust, but failing to fund the trust
  • Hiding your estate plan without letting your heirs know where it is

You can do better

Many of the estate planning mistakes made by the rich and famous serve as a lesson about how important it is to create a quality, up-to-date estate plan or living trust. At the San Diego offices of California Living Trusts, our team are well-versed in California laws as they pertain to living trusts, trust administration, and estate planning. Our attorneys are dedicated to your needs and that includes making trusts easy to set up.

Our living trust fees are low because we can communicate with you via phone and emails which is a much more efficient use of your time. We have created a way for you to get the trust services you need without the requirement of visiting our office. Contact our office to learn more.