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Estate Planning Lessons from Celebrity Deaths

Roger Wohlner, one of my most-respected financial planners, uses the most recent celebrity deaths to explain some key points of Estate Planning.  This is well worth reading.  Let me know your thoughts.



Sadly the world lost two well-loved celebrities this week: comic and actor Robin Williams and actress Lauren Bacall. I’ve already seen a few articles discussing Williams’ financial situation and praising him for trusts he had established for his three children.

In recent years the estate planning moves of actors Phillip Seymour Hoffman and James Gandolfini and others have also made the news for some of the things they did and didn’t do and in some cases the resulting extra costs incurred by their heirs. While some might say these types of articles are an invasion of their privacy, I disagree. Articles of this type bring estate planning to the forefront as something we all need to do. Moreover there are lessons to be learned from the things these celebrities did right and from what they could have done better. Even for the vast majority of us with much more modest estates, there a number of estate planning lessons we can derive.

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