Robin Williams and the Importance of Specificity in Trusts

“Even the most mundane items can be fodder for fights.” View image | gettyimages.com That’s the headline in Investment News — a report on Robin Williams’ estate plan and the nasty family feud it’s left behind. The media is abuzz this month over litigation pitting the actor’s wife and children against one another in court. […]

Crazy Estates Get a TV Show with “Strange Inheritance”

Estate law doesn’t always enjoy a reputation as the most exciting topic under the sun. That’s why we’re pleased to hear of a new TV show that shines a light on estates and their sometimes-unpredictable legacies. View image | gettyimages.com As first announced in The Hollywood Reporter, “Strange Inheritance” is a reality show that follows […]

Is It Really Impossible to Have Both Family and Fortune?

How much is your family costing you? Does “everything” sound like an overestimate? Not according to one Forbes financial writer. #142456905 / gettyimages.com In an interesting but arguably excessively cynical analysis, columnist Phil DeMuth opines that you can either be rich or have a family — not both. And even those lucky enough to pull […]

Stop Inheritance Feuds Before They Start

Family members routinely fight over cash, stocks and other large assets after a relative dies. But some of the most bitter fights are over trinkets. More than half of lawsuits over inheritances involve items worth less than 10 percent of a person’s estate, according to an article on dailyfinance.com. That’s because they have emotional not […]

Mandela Generous To Family, Party, Staff

Nelson Mandela’s will, a 40-page document, shows that the former South African leader who died in December at age 95 was worth about $4 million. Most of the money will go to his family from three marriages, to the African National Congress political party, to former staff members and to a number of schools. The […]

A Lesson Learned From Phillip Seymour Hoffman

No, not a lesson about drug use, although that is obvious. This lesson has to do with estate planning and how important it is to have an estate plan when going through a personal crisis, according to an article on JDSUPRA.com. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, perhaps the greatest actor of his generation, died of a heroin […]

Boomers Want Keepsakes More Than Money

Because of the economic downturn, steep health care costs and a longer life span, parents of boomers may have less to leave to their children than might have been anticipated. But that’s okay with the boomers. They want things that money can’t buy, they say. According to an article on MarketWatch, boomers are more interested […]

What to do about your deceased parents’ possessions?

Once your last parent passes away, you will have to go about the task of selling his or her house. But it turns out that will be easy, compared to figuring out what to do about the possessions that fill the house. According to an article in The New York Times, it can take way […]

Should you change your will at the last minute?

People who don’t have long to live often decide to make last-minute changes to their wills. If this is done correctly, such deathbed changes may save their families taxes and prevent administrative hassles, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. But if done incorrectly, such last-minute changes can leave a will open to […]

Copper heiress estate battle not quite over

The fight over a copper heiress’s estate is not over.   Not long ago, we reported that the bitter court fight over heiress Huguette Clark’s $300 million estate was over. At that time, according to news reports, a settlement had been reached calling for the bulk of Clark’s estate to go to arts charities and […]