More Famous Reasons to Properly Plan Your Estate
Posted by Guest Blogger at 5:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
In my last article, I discussed three examples of famous people—Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, Princess Diana, and Heath Ledger—who were well meaning in their intentions for their estate distributions, but whose wishes went unfulfilled because of poor planning. There are three more important lessons that I want to share with you about estate planning that can be exemplified through famous examples, including the very serious matter of elder abuse as well as examples of the love people have for their animals and how to ensure their future care.
Lesson 4: It Is Never Too Early to Plan Your Estate
Jimi Hendrix died at the young age of 27 and without a will in place. A court-appointed attorney handled his estate for almost 20 years, until Jimi’s father, Al, successfully sued for control of the rights to his music. After Al’s death, the control was bequeathed to his adopted daughter Janie, while Jimi’s biological sibling, mother, children, and other relatives he was known to be close to received nothing. The matters of Jimi’s estate are still in court more than 40 years after his death.
Lesson 5: Document Your Wishes While Still of Sound Mind and Body
Mickey Rooney devoted most of his life to entertaining us, and now he is devoting the rest of his life to ensuring that the senior community is not subjected to the abuse he endured. He recently spoke before Congress on the subject after he was held captive by his son, who squandered his finances and withheld medication from him. One way to make sure that this does not happen to you is to create a living will or durable medical power of attorney as well as a durable general power of attorney and to name a highly trustworthy person to be your agent. The former two will make certain that your medical wants and needs are satisfied, while the latter will ensure that your finances are secure.
Lesson 6: Plan for Your Companion Animals
Oprah Winfrey has reportedly directed $30 million in her will to the care of her dogs. The late fashion designer Alexander McQueen left a more modest $75,000 for the care of his dog. Instructions for care should be included in your plans, too. British singer Dusty Springfield instructed that after her passing, her cat was to sleep in a bed lined with her nightgown, be serenaded by her music, and be fed only imported baby food. Though few of us will go to such extremes, our animals need us now, so we must plan ahead to ensure their proper care after our passing.
A properly planned estate not only allows you to provide for loved ones but also helps ensure that your desired legacy for animals is fulfilled. Further information can be reviewed at PETA.org/Legacy.
Daniella Ramadei is a philanthropic specialist with the PETA Foundation.
Posted to Money | Posted to Tags: Celebrities, Daniella Ramadei, estate planning, Gift Planning, wills