This summer, Sophie Perkins was awarded custody of her orphaned baby cousin. The baby’s mother was killed by former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher in late 2012 before he turned the gun on himself.
This incredibly sad story made news this summer for several reasons. One reason being that neither Mr. Belcher, nor the baby’s mother, had any estate planning documents naming a guardian for their infant daughter. This provoked a vicious custody battle between family members over who would care for the infant and manage the millions she is set to inherit.
Baby Zoey is set to receive more than $1 million under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, including $108,000 annually over the next four years, $48,000 in the fifth year, and $52,000 each year until she turns 18, with the potential to receive that amount until age 23 if she attends college. Additionally, the owners of the Kansas City Chiefs set up an irrevocable trust fund which coaches, players, and the general public have all added to.
My children don’t stand to inherit millions. There will be no annual payout until they reach college should I pass on before my time. However, since their births, I’ve been cognizant that things don’t always work out the way we plan. I’ve made sure that my husband and I are the ones who decide who will care for our daughters if the unthinkable occurs.
If you have minor children, it is critical that you take the time to create documents naming who will care for them in the event of an untimely death. Costly litigation and tremendous family strife can be avoided with careful planning.
Contributed by MH Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney Andrea Claus.
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We live in a litigious society, where over 1 million lawsuits are filed every year in America alone. Financial predators are looking for ways to take funds from others and often use litigation as their means to do so. At Morris Hall we provide your assets and your loved ones with important protections that can prevent financial predators from taking advantage of you. We do this through proper and current estate planning techniques. With an MH living trust, we can also protect your property, assets and loved ones from probate, estate taxes, gift taxes, creditors, Medicaid spend-down, conservatorship or guardianship proceedings, ex-spouses and more. A living trust also keeps your asset and beneficiary information private and secure to avoid giving financial predators information to use against you and your family. Without a living trust, this information will be made public. For those living in Arizona, we serve the areas of Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Prescott, Flagstaff, Sedona, Tucson, Sonoita, Arrowhead, Avondale, Goodyear and Tempe. In New Mexico we serve the areas of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, White Rock, Alamogordo, Truth or Consequences and more. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment with an attorney in your area!
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