I was shocked to hear the details of Whitney Houston’s will as part of her estate plan last week. I assumed that after all the press surrounding the distribution of assets from estates belonging to Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith that most celebrities would recognize that they need more than just a Last Will and Testament.
As many people are aware, Whitney Houston’s Last Will has been submitted to the Probate Court in Atlanta, Georgia. Within a very short time period, information regarding the details of this document was available on the internet. Already we know who the beneficiary of her estate is as well as who the contingent beneficiaries are (in the case of the primary beneficiary passing away). As the process of probate continues, the public will find out Whitney’s exact estate size and what the assets are comprised of, etc.
One way to avoid this public proceeding is to utilize a Revocable Living Trust. Such an estate plan removes the involvement of the probate court. This benefits every family by keeping the administration of the estate private and reduces expenses because there are no court fees. Avoiding probate will save your family members a lot of time, potential expenses, and trouble overall. In addition to the benefits that directly affect your family members, your private affairs will not be dragged out in the public spotlight for all to witness.
If you are interested in learning more about a Revocable Living Trust and how it can help you avoid a situation like what happened with Whitney Houston’s will, please contact us at 888.222.1328. Our caring staff will listen to your unique situation and help you protect what’s important. Even if you haven’t accumulated a lot of wealth like some celebrities have, you need to ensure your family is aware of your wishes and that they don’t have to experience the painful process of probate in Arizona.
Contributed by MH attorney Katherine A. O’Connell