by Brad Gardner
When a high-profile celebrity unexpectedly dies, the public is usually interested in the value of their estate (their money and stuff), and where it ends up. Due to their notoriety, celebrity deaths can often reveal the dangers of not properly planning the transfer of your estate after your death and can serve as a cautionary tale of what not to do.
In the case of the two recent deaths; late comedian and actor, Bob Saget*, and beloved actress Betty White**, both had trusts which owned their homes, reportedly worth between $5-6 million. This makes the transfer of their wealth to their beneficiaries much simpler and avoids the cost of probate which can cost between 3-8% of the value of the estate. †
“Bob Saget and Betty White are great examples of famous people who died and left families with the gift of good Estate Planning. Deciding to have their homes and other assets owned by a trust enables their assets to go to the people and causes they loved without the delay and expense of probate court,” Jennifer Tomac commented.
“A trust is also beneficial because it is private – the entire value of their estates and where that money is going (or not going) can’t be scrutinized by the court of public opinion,” Jerad Tomac added.
We can contrast this good estate planning with the unfortunate case of recording artist, Prince, which is the complete opposite. After his untimely death in 2016, it was revealed that he left no trust or valid will clarifying his wishes for his sizable estate. ‡ This lack of proper planning left his entire estate to be decided publicly by the courts, which costs significant time and money.
“In the case of Betty White and Bob Saget, we see two different ends of the spectrum. Bob Saget died in his mid-60s rather unexpectedly, and Betty White died at 99, likely aware she was approaching the end of her life. We’re never guaranteed another day, so why not put a plan in place now to protect what you have worked for?” Jerad Tomac commented.
While most people certainly don’t have the wealth that celebrities do, the percentages don’t change. No person wants to leave what they’ve worked for and saved during their lives to their beneficiaries, to lose between 3-8% to the courts off the top.
At Tomac & Tomac, we help regular people, just like you, every day. We can put together a comprehensive plan to protect what you’ve worked for, and ensure your wishes are followed after you pass away. We’re proud to help you experience the power of planning. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.