Woodland Hills Long Beach Orange

San Mateo  

Prince

Musician

  • Did not have a Will
  • Without a spouse, or a Will,
    probate court decides what happens to assets

  • Sister filed claim to be administrator of estate and named other siblings and half-siblings as beneficiaries
  • Without a Will in writing, claims can be contested by others
  • May take years in court to sort out
  • THE POINT: Whether you have small or large assets, it is never too early to make a Will, better yet, an Estate Plan that includes a Will and a Trust that protects your assets and your intentions

Heath Ledger

Actor

  • Had an estate plan
  • Did not take the time to update it after the birth of his daughter
  • ​Before daughter, estate was left to father and siblings
  • ​Not updating led to his daughter receiving nothing
  • Costly family court battle
  • THE POINT: Even if you have a plan, update it in a timely manner

Elvis Presley

King of Rock 'n Roll

  • Had a Will
  • Died with estate totaling around $10 million
  • Poor planning led to only $1 million going to his heirs
  • More than half of his estate went to probate, federal and state taxes, executor fees and other administrative costs
  • THE POINT: Have a comprehensive estate plan, not just a Will alone

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Singer, Actor, Entertainer

  • Had a Will
  • Intended to give gifts to many people
  • Upon his death, his estate owed more money in taxes than it was worth
  • Money from his assets went to pay taxes, left nothing for those whom he had designated to receive inheritance
  • THE POINT: A Will does not protect your assets from probate and taxes like a living trust does

Princess Diana

Princess of Wales

  • ​Letter of wishes, written separately from estate planning document
  • Document taken to court for ruling, court ruled against her wishes
  • ​Her intent to distribute her personal possessions was not carried out
  • Incurred court costs, fees
  • THE POINT: all documents need to be included in the Estate Plan, not separate, and someone needs to know where you keep them

Celebrity Stories

If you have thought about putting it off, read what happened to these celebrities and you may be convinced that now is the time to have your estate planning documents prepared by a qualified attorney.

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Peace of Mind

Locking the door to your home when you leave creates the first step in protecting the things you have worked so hard to attain. Take the steps now to protect your future, your family's future, and give yourself the peace of mind that a comprehensive estate plan can provide.

Why Have an Estate Plan?


  • Whether you have small or large assets, it is never too early to make a Will, better yet, an Estate Plan that includes a Will and a Trust that protects your assets and your intentions.

  • All important documents need to be included in the Estate Plan, not separate, and someone needs to know where you keep the plan.

  • Even if you have an Estate Plan, update it in a timely manner, for instance, when a new person comes in to the family or a family member passes away, or when a new purchase of property has been made.

  • A Will does not protect your assets from probate and taxes like a Living Trust does.

  • Have a comprehensive Estate Plan, not just a Will alone or your wishes may not be able to be carried out.

  • A Will that you write on your own, called a Holographic Will, is subject to different laws depending on the state in which you live. For instance in California, it must be entirely written in your own handwriting. However, since no witness is required to make it valid, proving that it was written by you often becomes a point of contention after you die. There are a lot of common mistakes made when you write your own Will. It may sound like an easier path to take right now, but your relatives or executor may be left with a mess.