5 celebrities who messed up their wills

You may not have millions, but you can still learn a few lessons about how to protect your heirs from potentially nasty estate battles.

 of 7
 of 7


Aug 1, 2013 5:01PM
Am I the only one who finds it troubling that when you die, your family having to worry about paying taxes on your estate, assets which have been taxed at least once, is more distressing then you being dead
Aug 1, 2013 8:25PM

When my mother died, we 3 grown children each received 25% of her will, and my father got 25% as well.   My father had his attorney ask each of us grown children to sign over our 25% to my dad, so he could keep his house and have funds to live on. We did it to be 'good' children and care for our aging Dad.


3 years later my father remarried. The stepmonster made my father sell the family home. They now live in a home they "share" and is willed to her when he passes. The homes were the same price and sq. footage in the same town, but now acquired "during the marriage" to stepmonster.


He has updated his will, so that she is the beneficiary. She cites that we 'already' gave him the money to live on. We 3 children 'assumed' that when he passed, our inheritance would just revert back to us, minus whatever he needed to live on. We did it to be 'good' children and care for our aging Dad. We did not foresee a black widow coming down on her web and maneuvering to get everything.


Did I mention my mom and dad were married for 51 years when mom passed? Did I mention that this is my stepmonster's fourth husband? The other 3 are dead... Good luck with that Dad. Be on the lookout for poisonous casseroles.


Lesson: do not sign over your inheritance to a surviving parent! Once financially stable, the living parent attracts black widows that make abundantly sure you will NEVER get anything upon the 2nd parent's passing. Instead, help that parent pay those bills from YOUR inheritance that YOU KEPT!

Jul 29, 2013 11:00AM
Two of life's great mysteries: Why is it so hard for the wealthy to get adequate estate planning advice, and why do so many weathly people wind up in tax trouble?
Aug 1, 2013 8:11PM
My sister, passed in 2010 unexpectedly. there were no legal battles. the attorney, however, managed to prolong the finalizing until he had consumed 3/4 of her estate. beware of attorney's fees, they will milk   whatever is left until it is dry if you are unaware of what is needed.
Aug 1, 2013 5:14PM

I have seen common people make even worse mistakes in estate planning. thank goodness I didn't have anything to do with the planning, but made some good money helping straighten out some of the messes.


don't tie up all cash and other liquid assets in trusts that cannot be used to pay estate taxes until all other assets have been depleted in settling estate taxes.


don't leave the entire estate to second or third spouse thinking he/she will take care of your young child or children, who is not the other parent of the child.


additionally, men who have jewelry that is supposed to go to his descendants should not let the new wife even know they exist. I have helped friends fight that battle too often when the new wife decides she's out of there and takes the jewelry with her. one friends wife held them hostage until he gave her half the value of a florida condo that he already owned when the married. the ring belonged to his aunt at her death and the uncle gave him the ring for his daughter from a previous marriage. he was the only nephew with girls. all of his siblings were girls who had assumed new last names at marriage.


the ex-wife (no 2) of one of my best friends is holding hostage jewelry that is supposed to go the his two daughters from previous marriage upon his death. she wants us to forget that we have paid 60-70% or what she was due from the divorce settlement in her bills from before and after the split.  


both women cut their own throats or in the process of completing the task. first guy's wife turned down a genuine offer for her half of the condo and counter offered to buy his half for less money. when the judge got up from rolling in the floor, he ordered that the man pay her what she offered him and for her to return the ring amongst other things the guy didn't ask to be returned, but she had no business taking.


i'm just letting the last one finish digging her own grave before we hit her with the biggies. she could wind up owing my friend money when it comes to the nut-cutting.

If you say "not one dime goes to a lawyer or a politician or to taxes" is that OK ?? That would be my wish.
Aug 1, 2013 7:32PM
This is nothing more than a good example of the GOV'T has enacted thousands of rules into our over-loaded everyday lives so that we can barely keep up anymore. Of all things, estates, which are issues brought about under harsh emotional times. I say get the gov't out of our business. Has anyone thought about that. Let's say tomorrow, estate laws are removed and people are simply left to sort their business personally, using lawyers or themselves. Bringing in law enforcement if necessary if there is theft. But the taxing authorities being involved is wrong and abusive.
Aug 1, 2013 8:27PM
Too complicated.  Every lawyer has a different strategy, like the financial advisors.
Your parents can die with a home loan with a you as a beneficiary but if it's not a transfer on death deed  at the courthouse it still goes to probate. 
Living trusts are only ok if someone knows about it.  There are old people with nobody left but one person, once the lawyer knows this he can keep it.  Perfect example.  85 yr old has 1M, tells the lawyer to give it to a specific animal shelter, if the animal shelter don't know about it, the lawyer will keep it and get away with it. Just like the life insurance and banks.  Only if many people know about it is there any justice.

Aug 1, 2013 10:24PM
Nothing attracts vultures like a dead body.
Aug 1, 2013 6:22PM
poor anna. she never should have left south Podunk. all those $millions never gave her any real happiness.
Aug 1, 2013 5:06PM
OMG. Who proofread this article? It is absolutely riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.
Aug 1, 2013 5:09PM

Some of the Estate Planning Lawyers I've worked with "Run for Your Lives".....While you still have it that is!!!!

Aug 1, 2013 8:46PM
(They)  The select group, who run the worlds financial system want it as complicated as possible so lawyers can legally "steal" peoples decades of hard savings.
  When you open a bank account, do you think they offer you a Payment on death to your beneficiary? YOU must ask. It should be automatic courtesy attached to your application.
   DO life insurance companies look up your beneficiary?  If you don't tell your beneficiary they wont get it!
  Don't EVER tell your lawyer, just me and you know about this!!!!   Imagine you having a million or 2, he could distribute the money to himself through clever channels and retire!  
We live in a slimy world and they don't go to jail unless he's a real pea brain.

Aug 1, 2013 11:20PM
You might just be better off burying your money in the back yard in a Folgers can.....at least the damn lawyer wouldn't get his hands on it, or the tax man.
Aug 1, 2013 8:03PM
They better get Pauli to handle this Mess
Aug 1, 2013 9:14PM
the solution is very simple....Put all your assets in an account and have your name and one of your children''s name on the account.  You croak, not one red cent goes to the Government!!!!
Aug 1, 2013 11:08PM

got involved and argue about how it should be in with the local dog pound.  They 've argued for years now,  Meanwhile, the bank is getting rich on the interest from his money.  I think it is appalling that a person goes to the trouble of planning a will, then they aren't followed.


Aug 1, 2013 7:05PM
I love Anna she lived a troubled life and a simple life so sad that she is gone
Aug 2, 2013 12:02AM

"By one estimate, only about two estates in a thousand will have to file a federal estate tax return"


who wrote this mullarkey?

why are you responding to this before you actually learn the facts?


stupid stupid people......

just because the byline says "Money" doesn't mean these "writers" know anything about it!

MSN = My Stupid Nonsense



I work for CPA's and can's believe this nonsense and the fools who fall for it!

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.