Celebrity inheritance pitfalls – what people can learn from Paul walker and Phillip SeymourHoffman
There has been quite a few unfortunate celebrity deaths recently, and it has become clear that many of them didn’t prepare their estate planning properly. Celebrities such as Paul Walker and Philip Seymour Hoffman are just two examples of celebrities who failed to complete their estate planning and with so much to left behind, it left a lot of complications for,not only their estate but also for their relatives.
Paul Walker was an actor who starred in the Fast & Furious movies. He passed away on the 30th November 2013 and left behind him his parents, and his 15 year old daughter Meadow Rain Walker. According to Trial and Heirs, Walker had assets of around $25 million. He had a revocable living trust which benefited his daughter as the sole beneficiary. However, Walkers Will nominated his mother as the guardian and caretaker of the money instead of the mother of his daughter.
Because Paul Walker used a trust, it dictates who receives the assets and when. If he had have completed the proper funding ahead of time then there would have been far less public scrutiny and hassle as his family affairs regarding his Will are on public record. Walker failed to update his estate planning documents before he died which meant that twelve years had passed since he signed his Will and if he wanted to change anything, he could not upon his untimely death.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was an Oscar-winning actor and died on the 2nd February 2014 from a drug overdose. He relied on a Will for his estate plan and therefore it is available to the public to read. Because of this, Hoffman’s family could not handle his affairs privately and had to pay inventory fees, court costs and extra legal fees. Hoffman’s Will is dated back to the 7th October 2004 which means that it only mentions his oldest child and not the two he had since completing his Will.
We can all learn valuable lessons from these two high profile pitfalls, emphasizing how important it is to make a proper Will and to follow the right procedures in the first place to help avoid unnecessary complications. Saga can help in this respect to ensure that all of your assets and estate will be handled exactly the way you want after your death so that your family do not have to experience any further complications.