They say that experience is the best teacher, and if you have been around the block a few times you are well aware of how true this can be. However, in addition to the hard experiences that you have had directly you can sometimes learn from the experiences of others. This is true when you look at the estate planning mishaps of some celebrities and other high profile individuals.
With the above in mind let’s look back to 2004 when the author Stieg Larsson passed away. He obtained international fame for penning the crime novel The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a book that was subsequently made into a movie. Larsson was quite successful financially and it was estimated that his estate was valued at no less than $40 million at the time of his death.
The author died at the relatively young age of 50 due to a heart attack. Like a lot of people, he must have thought that he was still young so he had plenty of time to think about estate planning later on. As a result, he passed away without leaving behind any estate planning documents.
He lived with the same woman for 32 years outside of wedlock and as you might imagine she staked a claim to his estate. His closest relatives were his father and brother and they contended that his legacy was rightfully theirs. The matter played itself out in court and ultimately Larsson’s girlfriend was the loser.
Situations like these underscore how important it is to assert your final wishes in writing, even if you feel as though death is a long way off. If you are ready to take action for the protection of those that you love simply pick up the phone to arrange for a consultation with a good Indianapolis estate planning lawyer.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.