The contents a person's will can be a surprise to friends and family members, especially if there was a change near the end of life. For the family of actor Mickey Rooney, a change in his will just two weeks before his death altered who would receive his inheritance. The actor reportedly cut his current spouse and several children out of his will.
Reports are that the actor did not have a great deal of wealth built up. Rooney spent much of his early career under a studio system that paid performers much less than actors earn today. Documents indicate that the immediate cash inheritance was only $18,000. Rooney left that amount to a stepson. He reportedly was the person who cared for the actor towards the end of his life.
Rooney's wife had reportedly been estranged from him since 2012. Still, reports indicate that the actor didn't change his will until just weeks before his death, his wife is contesting it. She reportedly will receive Rooney's Social Security benefits and pension, despite the changes in the will.
Rooney reportedly left nothing to several of his children because he thought those children were well off enough financially that they didn't need any of the $18,000.
When making a change to a will, Oklahoma residents should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure that all of their documents are in order. Any change could spark contests from those believe they should have benefited from the person's estate. They may suspect foul play. That's why it is essential that a legal representative is involved with any changes.
Source: All Media NY, "Mickey Rooney's Widow Left Out of Will" Laura Tucker, May. 13, 2014