You might think that people who have extraordinary financial resources would take planning for the future extremely seriously. Of course many of them do, but it’s surprising when you see how many rich and famous individuals really did not engage in proper legacy planning.
On the positive side of the ledger, look no further than the case of Amy Winehouse. The British singer was known for a freewheeling lifestyle so a lot of people would have assumed that she probably would not be the type of person to have a well constructed estate plan in place. In fact, the opposite is true.
When Winehouse got divorced from her husband Blake Fielder-Civil she made a point of getting her affairs in order. British succession laws favor former spouses and Fielder-Civil could have been in line to inherit the Winehouse fortune had she not taken proactive steps to assert her wishes in a legally binding manner. This situation sheds light on how important it is to revise your estate plan when important events take place in your life such as changes in marital status.
On the other hand, there was some news reported recently about a well-known wealthy individual who did not implement an intelligent plan for aging. Liliane Bettencourt, 88, is reportedly the second most wealthy woman in the world with resources estimated at approximately $23.5 billion. She was recently deemed to be incapable of handling her financial affairs by French courts after giving a photographer named Francois-Marie Banier over $1 billion and making him the sole heir to her fortune. Due to the court ruling her daughter and grandsons will now handle these financial resources.
These are a couple of examples of how you can do the right thing or fail to make appropriate plans when you are still in a position to do so. If you are not currently prepared for all the eventualities of aging, now would be a good time to pick up the phone and arrange for a consultation with an experienced elder law attorney.