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Lessons from celebrities: Estate planning mistakes to avoid

There are certain lessons that can be taken from celebrity news. One is what not to do when to comes to estate planning. Over the years, the news has been full of examples of estate planning missteps by celebrities.

Take, for example, the news that came out after Aretha Franklin’s passing that she reportedly died without having a will. And Franklin is far from the only celebrity to not have an estate plan in place at the time of death. For one, this was also the case for Prince.

And failing to have an estate plan is not the only miscue that celebrities have made on the estate planning front. This can be seen in a recent Kiplinger article. Among the reported celebrity estate planning mistakes it noted were:

  • Florence Griffith-Joyner - Not keeping estate planning documents in a place they can be found
  • Michael Jackson - Not funding a trust
  • Barry White and Heath Ledger - Failing to remove or add beneficiaries
  • Marlon Brando - Not putting all of the estate planning promises one has made in writing

A person doesn’t have to be a celebrity for estate planning mistakes to have major consequences for their friends, family and legacy. Whatever one’s field, background and income level, avoiding missteps like the ones above and other estate planning mistakes is very important. Doing this can help ensure that one’s wishes are actually what are in control when one passes away.

There are many steps individuals can take to avoid critical estate planning miscues. One is to have a skilled lawyer help them with forming a well-tailored estate plan and with keeping it properly updated.

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