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Carrie Fisher's estate planning provides a positive example

In recent years, celebrity deaths have brought important focus on the need for thinking ahead. When famous people die leaving ridiculous fortunes to no one in particular, fans in Oklahoma may wonder why such wealthy people did not take the time for estate planning. Instead, months pass while potential heirs dispute and probate drags on, likely something none of the departed stars wished to happen.

Recently, the world lost the beloved actress Carrie Fisher, known for her iconic role as Princess Leia in the classic Star Wars movies. Fisher apparently had no other family except her 25-year-old daughter, actress Billie Lourd. For some months after Fisher's death, her fans may have wondered how much of a fortune she had accumulated and if she had made any preparations for the disposal of that fortune. Ms. Fisher's estate executor recently filed documents with the probate court in the actress's state answering both of these questions.

Not only did Fisher retain nearly $7 million in her estate, but she carefully provided for her daughter, leaving a will to outline her wishes. Lourd reportedly received the fortune in addition to rights to her famous mother's intellectual property, image and likeness, and future proceeds from her mother's ventures. The proceeds from the $18 million property Fisher owned with her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, will likely be added to a substantial trust the two women established for charities.

Many fans in Oklahoma applaud the foresight of Ms. Fisher, who left her daughter well provided for and continued her charitable works through a well-funded trust. However, a person does not have to have many millions of dollars to benefit from estate planning. There are options available for people of any means to establish a legacy for their children, and an experienced attorney can provide guidance to those seeking advice.

Source: people.com, "Carrie Fisher's Daughter Billie Lourd to Inherit Nearly $7 Million", Mike Miller, Aug. 9, 2017

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