While the whole world mourns Robin Williams, we can all learn something from him. The reports this morning say that Williams thought ahead, that he had planned his estate by having at least one revocable living trust to handle the majority of his estate. So often when celebrities pass, there is a fight among their friends and family because they, like so many others, don’t plan ahead, have no estate planning in place. It’s so easy to say to yourself, “Nothing is going to happen. I have time.” Or to believe that your family will all get along when you pass, because they do now. But death does something to people. It changes them.
When you have a revocable trust, you have the ability to control how and when your loved ones will receive your estate assets. They also give you the flexibility to make changes when situations change. While revocable trusts may be more expensive right now, they save your family later. If you do nothing about your estate planning, you have no control over any aspect of what happens after your passing. It is left up to a Probate court. And here in California, that process can take anywhere from 6 months to years to complete.
Robin Williams was smart. He made sure his estate was taken care of when something happened to him. Having his estate all planned out will surely make life easier for his widow and children. So while you mourn this funny, giving man, learn something from him. See someone about estate planning.
We are not attorneys and cannot give advice.