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Plan for smooth transition to heirs

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2015 | Business Formation & Planning |

Michigan residents may not view estate planning as an important step for their companies, but it could be essential for ensuring a clean handoff to heirs. When an individual has amassed sizable assets, it may be important to make plans for how those assets will be distributed upon one’s death. Celebrities often accumulate wealth through their earnings and some do a better job than others do when preserving that wealth after they die.

The estate of Joan Rivers is an example of careful and deliberate planning and documentation. She successfully used trusts to distribute assets when and to whom she wanted. Rivers also was diligent about updating her estate documents periodically; there is evidence that when she passed, her trust was on its third iteration.

Other celebrities such as James Gandolfini, Heath Ledger and Jerry Garcia were not as successful with their estate planning. These, along with other celebrities, left the work on their estates unfinished, did not update them when necessary or chose administrators unwisely. These errors led to delays in the distribution to heirs, lawsuits, avoidable payments of taxes, and public disclosure of personal and financial matters that could have been kept private.

When a business owner wants to make sure that his or her estate plan meshes with the family’s estate planning, it is important to confirm that the appropriate paperwork is in place. An attorney is often the best person to help with this process, and legal counsel can work with an individual to make sure the estate documents are reviewed and updated, helping the client create a plan that allows for the effective transfer of one’s legacy.


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