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Estate planning often prevents later battles between heirs

Many people enjoy following the latest news from Hollywood. Oklahoma residents are no different than those across the nation who keep tabs on the latest and greatest television or movie stars. One might not, however, consider Hollywood the place to turn for financial advice. Perhaps surprisingly, one  assistant vice president for an investment management company published a recent article which stated that a person can learn about the value of proper estate planning by analyzing the mistakes made by several celebrities.

The financial adviser stated that there are potentially valuable lessons to be found in the financial actions of the rich and famous. It is often said that one can learn from his or her mistakes; however, one can also sometimes learn from the mistakes of others. The adviser outlined several things that someone should not do when making plans for the future of one's estate.

One piece of advice stressed was to not delay when it comes to managing the inheritance of one's children. One actor apparently started writing his will shortly after his daughter was born. He then decided to take a vacation with intentions to complete his plan upon his return. Unfortunately, he suffered an untimely death while away, which led to his affairs being aired in probate court. Because he possessed more than $75 million in assets, his family suffered unnecessary stress and complications due to his lack of proper planning.

The report suggested several other practical tips to keep in mind when considering one's financial legacy. Updating estate-planning documents after births, marriages or the deaths of beneficiaries was mentioned as important. In addition, it was advised that having a professional validate one's mental capacity before proceeding with any documents can prove crucial should one's mental state be called into question upon one's death by a disgruntled third party. Oklahoma residents should know that there are professional legal teams with experience in estate planning who can offer advice if one wishes to avoid some of the mistakes that others have made with regard to a will, the transferring of assets, trusts or other estate-planning documents.

Source: northbaybusinessjournal.com, "Celebrity estate plans, the good, bad and ugly", Emily Menjou, Jan. 26, 2015

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