Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Larry Hagman is best known for playing J.R. Ewing in the drama, "Dallas". He also starred in "I Dream of Jeannie". Hagman passed away earlier this month due to complications with throat cancer. There are two lessons to be learned from Hagman's death and estate planning.
First, it is never too early to begin simple estate planning, including a will, advance health directives, and a durable power of attorney. Hagman drank heavily during his acting career and this required him to get a life-saving liver transplant in 1995. Not everyone gets a second chance like Hagman did, but this goes to show that it is never too early to start planning because some health events can be immediately fatal. It is better to have an estate plan in place before it is too late to make one.
Second, sometimes leaving behind a positive legacy that is not measured in dollars and assets can last longer than leaving possessions behind. Hagman used his second chance to work with the American Cancer Society and the Kidney Foundation to raise money and awareness. Hagman used his health problems as a way to help others, and this can be an important thing to leave behind.
See Evan Guthrie Law Firm, Estate Planning: Lessons Learned From Larry Hagman, JDSupra, Nov. 26, 2012.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.