Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, July 25, 2014

Estate Planning Lessons From Three Famous Estates

Movie Star2Many famous estates are full of drama, family feuds, and numerous opportunities to learn from others’ estate planning mistakes. Here are three that provide helpful lessons:

  1. Walt Disney: The trust created by Walt Disney teaches the importance of choosing trustees wisely. The trustees for the trust have allegedly used their discretion to withhold principal distributions from some of Disney’s grandchildren, because they would not keep the funds with the financial firm of one of the trustees.
  2.  Johnny Unitas: Unitas’ story teaches how important it is to choose the right executor. Unitas’ son had to endure a lengthy court battle to be able to buy a company he shared with his father, due to his father’s second wife refusing to sell to him.
  3. Casey Kasem: Kasem’s tale of his wife moving him away from his children and now both sides feuding over the will, highlights the importance making smart choices with who gets powers of attorney.

See Bob Carlson, Key Estate Planning Mistakes You Need to Avoid, Investing Daily, July 24, 2014.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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Great coverage and insight ! Our clients always provide their attention when there is a famous estate or probate litigation matter to help them learn from. I actually blogged about the Casey Kasem guardianship/conservatorship and now, it appears, the probate litigation. Well done and thank you.

Posted by: John Pankauski | Jul 26, 2014 8:51:12 AM

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