Paul Walker, an actor in the movie franchise Fast and Furious, sadly died at age 40 in a car accident. Besides being part of on of the greatest movie franchises every produced, Walker made the smart move of creating an estate plan unlike other celebrities like Prince and Amy Winehouse, who didn’t have a pleasant ending with probate court. Besides creating an estate plan, there were also lessons to be learned from his estate plan. These lessons include: Trusts can be useful, Trusts need to be fully funded during your lifetime to be the most effective, It is important to name a guardian if you have minor children, Start your estate planning early, and Estate plans should definitely be updated. When I say that Trusts can be useful, it means that a trust is an estate-planning tool that goes beyond a normal will. In Paul Walker’s case, he did have one. By having a trust, you can take control of your asset distribution and avoid going to probate court. When you create a trust, make sure you have a good estate- planning attorney. By the fact that Trusts need to be fully funded during your lifetime to be the most effective, don’t make the mistake that Paul Walker did which is have $25 million in assets without funding his trust. When it comes down to the Importance of Naming a Guardian, especially if you have minor children, it is crucial. If you don’t have a guardian set in place in your will, then the probate court decides. Also, by Starting an Estate Plan early, you can avoid the risk of having no will at the end. According to an article by Martison and Beason, “Creating a will and other estate planning documents is not only for the elderly. In fact, you can start right now. The last crucial lesson that should be taken into account when creating an estate plan is that Your Estate Plan should be updated. If your net worth of the estate either increases or decreases, make sure than your estate plan includes those facts. If you follow these steps, you are guaranteed to have a successful and well thought out estate plan.
Michelle Profit is an estate planning attorney serving Maryland and the District of Columbia. A Harvard Law School graduate, she has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. A dedicated advocate for all of her clients,
Michelle Q. Profit personally handles each client case from start to finish to meet the client’s needs and objectives. Michelle listens in the consultation sessions and works with any other client accountants or financial planners to create a comprehensive estate plan.