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Learning valuable lessons from celebrities' estate plans

When it comes to Minnesota residents learning valuable life lessons from celebrities, it can often be a case of "do what I say, not what I do." This is not always the case, however, particularly when it comes to estate planning, as the unfortunate deaths of celebrities can shed light into valuable estate planning lessons.

For example, after the recent untimely death of actor Robin Williams, details were reported about the steps the actor took to engage in trust planning. Williams' will directed that his entire estate be placed into a trust for the benefit of his three children. The trust, which was set up a few years ago, directs the trustee to disburse the funds to Williams' children in different stages, based upon the ages of the children.

For instance, once the child reached the age of 21, the child was entitled to receive one third of the trust proceeds. The next share would come once the child turned 25 years old, and the final share would be turned over to the child upon reaching age 30. In addition to this direction, Williams further provided for his wife, according to the terms of the couple's prenuptial agreement.

Cases like the above can be valuable for Minnesota residents, because it depicts how one person established his or her trust. This can not only give ideas as to what might work for others in their personal estate plans, it can reveal whether these types of plans actually worked effectively for those who used them previously, and whether those types of arrangements are recommended for use by others.

Ultimately, each person's estate plan will look differently, depending on what works best for them. The key is to understand the different strategies that may be used, and to decide which particular strategy works best under a person's individual circumstances.

Source: St. James Plaindealer, "Robin Williams left his fortune to his children and wife," Nov. 13, 2014

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