Whether famous or just regular folks, we are reminded by the following anecdote that a few extra steps in your estate planning will deliver on your intentions.
Leona Helmsley was famous for being direct in her requests of staff and others around her. After her death, it was discovered that the hotel tycoon had left instructions cutting two of her grandkids out of her $5 billion estate and leaving $12 million for her dog, Trouble. The stiffed grandkids made their own trouble and sued, claiming that she wasn’t mentally fit to create her will and trust. The case settled, leaving poor Trouble with “only” $2 million.
There is a basic lesson to be learned here: If you’re planning to do anything unusual, especially if it involves anything that would leave unhappy family members, have a lawyer conduct a mini evaluation attesting to your mental competence.
Whether I’m working on the ordinary or the exotic estate planning issues, I enjoy helping people plan their estates. Please give me a call, if I can assist you….. or if you just wish to meet and get acquainted.