Estate planning is something that we often don’t give enough thought. At some point in our lives we have the documents prepared and leave it that. Proper estate planning requires updating your documents with every major life event. When documents are not updated properly, administering of your Estate can become a battle. Often, settling an estate ends in litigation because documents were not updated to best reflect the intentions of those who have passed away.
According to forbes.com the Estate of actor, Gary Coleman was a tough one to decide.
Mr. Coleman had his estate planning documents up to date in 2005, naming his friend, and former head of his corporation, Anna Gray as his beneficiary and executor of his Estate. Coleman was married to Shannon Price in 2007, and soon after the marriage, he signed a handwritten codicil, thereby amending his original will. In 2008 Coleman and Price were divorced, but his will was never updated to reflect this event. When Coleman died it was difficult to determine who his beneficiary actually was.
The preceding Judge held a trial to determine what type of marriage, if any, Price and Coleman had. In the end, the Judge ruled in favor of Anna Gray. Was this ruling what Coleman really wanted? No one will ever know the answer to that question.
Finally, in order to ensure that your wishes are met after your death, make sure you keep all of your estate planning documents up to date. You never know when your last day will be, don’t put off having your documents updated.
For more information on estate planning, please contact us.