Jerry Lewis was known for many things. Generations of people in Michigan and across the world appreciated his brilliant comedy in movies and stand-up routines. Each year at summer's end, Lewis's telethon raised millions of dollars to find a cure for children afflicted with muscular dystrophy. While other children benefitted from Lewis's charitable acts, the comedian's own children did not. The wills and trusts of many celebrities have recently raised eyebrows, and Jerry Lewis may have done the same with his estate plan.
The mysterious and suspicious circumstances under which a man in another state died are at the heart of a family battle over the man's estate. The man's four daughters expected to inherit his $29 million estate after he was shot three times in his bed in Dec. 2013. Apparently, the man's grandson had been disputing the estate plan of the elderly man the night before the murder. While no charges have yet been filed, Michigan residents may be interested in how the case affects the wills and trusts in their own families.
Being a parent requires many important qualities. Parenting involves patience, selflessness, devotion and other strengths, many of which Michigan mothers and fathers learn along the way. However, the parents of two boys in another state are fighting for child custody because the Department of Human Services apparently believes they do not have IQs sufficient for raising children. Both parents have IQs in the 70s, below the average of 90 to 110.
People may put off estate planning for a number of reasons. Some in Michigan may think such a plan is unimportant, while others feel they don't have sufficient assets to make it worthwhile. For some, the thought of creating wills and trusts is overwhelming, and others may be unsure which option will work best for their situation.
It may be difficult to keep track of the number of times a person signs on the dotted line in his or her lifetime. Buying a house, renewing a driver's license, getting married or using a credit card all require a signature. In most cases, a person's soundness of mind is assumed as he or she signs. However, when it comes to estate planning documents like health care directives, powers of attorney, wills and trusts, there are definite guidelines in place for determining someone's mental clarity.
One year ago, music fans in Michigan and the rest of the world were shocked to learn of the death of Prince. While the tragedy of his drug overdose caused many to shake their heads, it is the condition of his estate that continues to make headlines a year later. Without considering wills and trusts to disperse his hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, Prince left a legal nightmare and a probate that is now in its 12th month.
Many people like to think that creating a last will or estate plan is a one-time effort. However, that is simply not true unless you wait until your death is imminent. The best way to approach your last will and estate plan is to handle it early in life and update it often.
As the name implies, a trustee is someone in whom people place their trust. When it comes to trusts, a trustee is the person named to manage the assets according to the specific terms in the document. It can be a devastating thing to learn that a trustee has broken his or her honor and misused the faith people have placed in him or her.
When people in Michigan and elsewhere have planned well for the future, they likely feel confident that family members and loved ones will be provided for. Plans may include wills & trusts, as well as life insurance policies and retirement accounts. One common mistake people make after creating their plans is to fail to review their beneficiary designations on a regular basis. This is important because one's life and situations can change frequently and rapidly.