I opened an article critical of Larry King for his handwritten Will.
The Will and his Estate will go to probate court and the world will know what he owned at death. (TMZ and others probably know 90% of that because they are really good at snooping).
I am sure most Estate Planning attorneys are going to write articles saying he should have had a Trust (yes the attorney who handles the probate will get a handsome fee, as will the executor), and a Trust would have avoided that.
However, when I read the article in the Daily Mail I noticed something the handwritten Will was done 2 months after he filed for divorce. At that time he was prohibited from changing or writing a Trust due to the automatic restraining orders that start when you file. When you file for divorce, you are not allowed to create a new trust or change it without the consent of your soon to be ex-spouse. You can direct by Will how you want your portion of community property and your separate property to be distributed, which is what he did.
In my opinion, he did a really good job; he was clear, “I want all my property to go to my 4 children”.
Sadly, two of his children died before him.
Many attorneys will point out that he did not say what should happen if his children die before him. I have asked that question thousands of times, and most people don’t know what they want. If any of the predeceased children had children, perhaps he would want those grandchildren to get some of his money.
Perhaps he would just want the remaining children to get all his money, that is what it seems he wanted.
One may think that just because an attorney wrote that formally there would be no litigation from the grandchildren. My thought is that with his kind of money if he had grandchildren and wanted just his children to get his assets, there would be a fight no matter who wrote that it should all go only to his children, just cuz lawyers like to fight about this kind of thing.
If you want to make sure that some attorney doesn’t get paid handsomely when you die (if all you had was a home worth $600,000 the probate attorney fee would be $15,000) give me a call at 866-452-9657 or schedule an appointment here: https://calendly.com/elderlawmom/session-with-attorney-martha-patterson