Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Estate Planning Lessons From Norman Schwarzkopf

Unknown-8I have frequently blogged about lessons that we can learn from the death of celebrities. Recently, Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of coalition forces in Operation Desert Shield, passed away from complications with pneumonia.  There are two main lessons to take from his estate planning.

First, legacy and reputation are just as important in planning an estate as what to do with the physical and monetary assets. After his time in the Gulf War, Schwarzkopf was able to become an author, speaker, and live a private life with his wife and children.  He stayed out of the public eye despite offers to enter into politics and he was able to keep the positive legacy that he earned during his military career.  Passing on that good family name could be just as important as passing on an Evan Guthrie Law Firm inheritance. 

Second, every veteran should be knowledgeable of the benefits that are available to them. One does not have to be a general to take advantage of benefits. The US Department of Veterans Affairs or an elder law or veteran's attorney can help to identify what options any given veteran may have. 

See Evan Guthrie Law Firm, Estate Planning: Lessons Learned From Norman Schwarzkopf, JDsupra, Dec. 28, 2012.  

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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The General has been eulogized as our last great General. I hope for our sakes that they are not right.

Posted by: brian j. cohan | Jan 3, 2013 12:27:29 PM

Thank you for sharing this information! I would be curious to read what Mr. Schwarzkopf has to say on the subject of estate planning. My grandfather in Minnesota is currently trying to make these arrangements, and I'm sure that this kind of advice would be useful for him.

Posted by: Estate Planning Minnesota | Jan 23, 2013 8:22:14 AM

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