Thursday, May 1, 2014
Rachel Lambert Mellon died at age 103 in her Virginia residence. On March 26, her will was filed and provided the heiress’ estate plan. Ms. Mellon, often called "Bunny" was married to Andrew Mellon, one of the world's richest industrialists who died in 1999. Mrs. Mellon shared her fortune with many charities including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Oak Spring Garden Foundation. A trusted employee and grandchildren were left property and jewelry from her estate. Included in the will was a provision permitting the hiring of additional help, for the executor to appraise and distribute her assets. Mellon’s will was changed nine times until 2011 because of changes in circumstances in her life, such as her daughter predeceasing her.
Estate planning attorney, Lisa McDevitt, outlines a few key lessons to be learned from Mrs. Mellon's will. “One is that, with the help of an experienced estate-planning attorney, a will should be carefully crafted to account for all assets that the executor will be responsible for distributing.” “Another important lesson from the Mellon estate is that a will must be kept up to date and that revisions, or codicils, are often necessary to reflect changing circumstances,” McDevitt explains.
See Lisa Lane McDevitt, Rachel Lambert Mellon's Will Was Carefully Written, Law Firm Newswire, Apr. 28, 2014.