Useful estate planning lessons from those who have gone before

It is typically a good idea to learn lessons from those who have gone before us in Lee County, Florida in order to avoid the same mistakes they have made. This is particularly true when a person who is in the public eye passes away; useful lessons can be learned from their estate planning.

This idea holds true for looking at the estate planning of Paul Walker who died in a car accident last November. Although Walker was only 40 years old when he died, he had a will in place. In fact, he drafted his will in 2001 when he was just 28 years old, well before he was a successful and widely-known actor. Many people believe that they do not need to have a will until they are older, but as Paul Walker’s unexpected death shows, this just isn’t the case.

It can be especially important for those who have minor children to have a will in place. This ensures that your child will be taken care of by someone of your choosing should his or her other parent be unable to do so. Walker named his mother as the guardian of his 15-year-old daughter. If something should happen where the girl’s mother is unable to care for her, Walker’s mother would be legally able to step in.

Walker left his entire estate to his daughter, but was smart to put it in a trust. This simplifies the probate process and will likely mean that his daughter will not get all of the money at once when she turns 18. Instead, she will probably receive distributions over a period of time.

For more advice on properly planning your estate, you may find it helpful to contact an experienced estate planning attorney.

Source: Forbes, “Five Estate Planning Lesson From The Paul Walker Estate,” Danielle and Andrew Mayoras, Feb. 10, 2014

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