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Even the rich and famous have made estate planning errors

Many may look at famous people who have passed away and might think that their loved ones likely inherited all of their possessions and royalties. This might be true in many cases when their estates were properly planned. However, Forbes points out in an article written Wednesday that there are many cases where famous people have not taken time to plan their estates properly. This has left the people that they may have preferred to receive their assets with nothing.

What can we learn from these celebrities? The biggest lesson is that is it never too soon to plan an estate, use proper legal documents, and review the plan often. Even the most unlikely people have had estate plans that didn't work efficiently. Former Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, who didn't specialize in estate law, tried to write his own will, leaving his family with extremely high, and avoidable, estate taxes and fees.

That is why it is important that people use proper legal documents. They might also be wise to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. They can help a family arrange for last wishes and properly plan an estate. Another lesson is that it is never too early to plan. Jimi Hendrix died at age 27. His father got all of his estate because of state laws, but the guitarist was very close to his brother, who ended up receiving nothing after his father left everything to an adopted daughter.

Many more lessons can be learned from the rich and famous. Although they may have a lot of money, people with any amount of assets should still form an plan to make sure their wishes are honored.

Source: Forbes, "What We Can Learn From Celebrity Estate Planning Gone Wrong," Erik Carter, Oct. 17, 2012

-Our law firm can help people form wills. To learn more, please check out our estate planning site.

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