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Tom Clancy leave behind a legacy and hopefully an estate plan too

By now, many of our readers have heard the news that famed novelist Tom Clancy has passed away at the age of 66. After bringing us such memorable treasures as "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games," it's hard to imagine what else he may have left behind besides his mark on history.

The hope is that he left behind a well established estate plan, considering the fact that his enterprise has amassed him millions in the last few decades. While the exact amount of his estate is unreported, it's likely that he took careful consideration about who his assets would be distributed to and the exact amounts as well.

The first people likely to appear in his will are likely his second wife and their daughter. Along with their names will likely be those of his four children from his first marriage. Clancy's will may also dictate what will happen to his 80-acre farm in Chesapeake Bay and what will happen to his part ownership of the Baltimore Orioles as well. It's important for our readers to remember that when dictating wishes in their own will, every detail counts. While daunting, even leaving out a simple vase could mean disputes between family members down the road. Often times this can be at a time when you may not be able to intervene either.

While many people seem to think that estate planning is only for the rich, it's actually something that should be part of anyone's end of life plan, regardless of wealth. In the end, having a well-established plan can mean the difference between a smooth distribution of your assets and future litigation for your loved ones down the road. As for Tom Clancy, that's hopefully one suspenseful story that he has not left behind.

Source:  The New York Times, "Tom Clancy, Best-Selling Master of Military Thrillers, Dies at 66," Julie Bosman, Oct. 2, 2013

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