When famous people pass away you often hear about the way that they planned their estates, and some of the stories are quite positive. For example, we lost the mercurial British songstress Amy Winehouse over the summer, and according to reports she had an ironclad estate plan in place. Her parents and her brother were provided for while her former husband, who could have been in line for an inheritance had she failed to plan ahead, was excluded.
Other people of note were not as proactive, and Martin Luther King Jr. was one of them. MLK died without executing any estate planning documents, and after his wife passed away in 2006 acrimony ensued among his children regarding the estate. There were allegations of mismanagement of the King Estate Corporation, and a legal battle was waged. It was however reportedly resolved a couple of years ago.
At the present time there is some fresh estate planning news circulating that involves the Martin Luther King Jr. estate. It seems that a woman who acted as his secretary during the 1950s was given some documents by Dr. King. They recently surfaced and were given to the son of this woman, who is now 86 years old.
The King heirs wants these papers, contending that the former secretary, Maude Williams Ballou, was never given these documents to keep as a gift. They claim that she was in possession of them in a professional capacity.
When you hear about matters such as these you understand why estate planning is important. If you’re currently going through life unprepared, right now would be a good time to pick up the phone and arrange for a consultation with a licensed and experienced Indianapolis estate planning attorney.