Many people in Michigan have a will as part of their estate plan, but if it isn’t kept up to date, it can cause problems for one’s heirs. A big life change such as the birth of a new child or a divorce necessitates a change in estate planning that doesn’t always occur. The recent death of talk-show host Larry King may illustrate this point, as his will reportedly leaves out his wife, whom he was in the process of divorcing.
A contested will
King and his seventh wife, Shawn, filed for divorce in late summer of 2019. He passed earlier this year, but his son, Larry King Jr., claims that his father handwrote a new will two months after filing for divorce that left all of his assets to his five children. King Jr. requested he be designated as the administrator of his father’s estate, which may be worth $2 million, though his net worth is estimated to be much higher, at around $144 million.
Shawn King believes that her late husband may have been coerced into writing the new will that allegedly leaves her out. She argues that she and King created an estate plan back in 2015 that she believes will be upheld in court. Even if the handwritten will is declared valid, two of King’s children named in it died last year, so any court proceedings may have to address that matter. Moreover, since the divorce proceeding was still pending at the time of King’s death, Shawn may be entitled to claim an elective share of King’s estate, even if the holographic will is validated in court.
Keeping an estate plan up to date
Larry King is just the latest in a long list of celebrities who failed to have updated estate plans. Though most people don’t have to worry about that level of wealth, proper estate planning is just as important for them. Those here in Michigan who want to be certain that their wishes for their assets are honored after death would do well to consult an attorney. An experienced attorney will take care to cover all necessary parts of estate planning to bring peace of mind to the owner.