Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How Robin Williams Created a Solid Estate Plan

Robin williams

Robin Williams’ tragic death sent shockwaves across the nation.  Yet, as painful as his loss was for fans, family, and friends, it seems as though Williams created a solid estate plan.

Although many wealthy entertainers fail to adequately prepare in handling the transfer of their wealth after their death, Williams used a revocable trust for the primary portion of his estate planning.  This will likely be adequate to avoid some of the complications and tax liabilities other celebrities’ families endured. 

Revocable trusts enable people to arrange for the disposition of their assets after death without any involvement from a probate court.  Additionally, the public has no right to see the trust document.  Consequently, it is likely we will never know what Williams’ trusts said.  Since trusts keep personal business out of the public eye, even family members who disagree with each other can choose to resolve disputes privately if they so choose. 

Aside from the procedural requirements, revocable trusts provide the ability to control how and when loved ones will receive assets.  Certain provisions allow advisors to act as a trustee and handle financial matters during the early part of children’s lives, and they ensure that children to not waste their inheritance. 

See Dan Caplinger, Robin Williams’ Estate Plan Spares His Heirs a Lot of Drama, Daily Finance, Aug. 14, 2014.

Special thanks to Neda Garrett (Texas attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.


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