How Robin Williams’s Estate Plan Saved His Family Some Headaches
We often hear about how the tragic, early passing of our favorite celebrities is accompanied by nightmares in the probate process. Fortunately for the family of the late Robin Williams, it appears that the actor and comedian had his affairs in order before his death.
Based on the events surrounding the Williams estate after his death, it appears that the actor used at least one (and maybe more than one) revocable trust for the majority of his estate. Because of this, his estate will be able to avoid many of the more troublesome complications and tax issues that you often hear about after celebrities pass away.
Revocable trusts are a specific type of estate planning document that allows people to make their own arrangements for how their assets will be disposed and distributed after their death without the interference of probate courts. Additionally, the general public does not get to see the contents of a revocable trust, which makes it an understandably appealing option for many people in the public eye, like Williams. Therefore, there’s a very good chance we will never know what the contents of Williams’s trusts were, which means family members can avoid public scrutiny and battles over estate distribution. Revocable trusts also provide people with the flexibility to make changes to the estate plan while still alive.
However, revocable trusts are not necessarily for everyone. They are more costly in terms of the necessary upfront fees to establish, especially in comparison to standard wills. The costs can pay for themselves over time by bypassing probate court, but for the most part revocable trusts are an option more commonly associated with estates of wealthy people.
If you have any questions about revocable trusts and whether they’re right for you, meet with a dedicated estate planning attorney at the law office of Philip A. Baumann, P.A. in Tampa and Sun City.