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Lesson Learned from the Rich & Famous – Estate Planning


This blog shares an excerpt from the presentation that will be the second workshop of our free in-house “Estate Planning Workshop Series.” If interested in learning more to protect what matters, please RSVP 630.377.3241. We suggest attending all three workshops to get a comprehensive familiarity.

Part 1 ~ Tuesday, January 15, 2013:

Celebrity Estates – Learning from the Good, Bad and Ugly

Part 2 ~ Tuesday, January 22, 2013:

Trust University – All the Trust Questions You Were Afraid to Ask

Part 3 ~ Tuesday, January 29, 2013:

Digital Assets – An Estate Plan for Your Online Identity

Michael Jackson “The King of Pop”

Michael Jackson was the King of Pop and provided many of us with the soundtrack of our lives.  Songs such as Thriller, Billy Jean, Bad and Beat It helped us all learn the “moon walk” and sing with the music.  Although a very public person in a professional sense, he did much throughout his lifetime to shield his private life, his children and his home from the paparazzi. 

The Problem with the Plan

He created a typical Pour Over Will and Revocable Trust plan.  He named his beneficiaries (40% to his children, 40% to his mother and 20% to charity), and he named three trusted advisors as his Executors and Trustees. 

The one thing he forgot to do is the one thing many of us forget to do – move assets into the trust!

Funding the Trust

Funding a Trust, the step that many clients forget to take when their documents are signed, is important in allowing the perfect plan that you have created to  actually work the way you want it to work.This means changing the bank account from “Michael Jackson” to the “Michael Jackson Family Trust.”  The bank statement, the deed and the beneficiary designation all must be updated after the documents are signed.

How Do I Know What to Put in the Trust?

Each estate plan is different, and you should discuss your particular plan with your lawyer, but consider these options:

l  Real estate

l  Bank Accounts, CDs, Money Markets

l  Investment or Retirement Accounts

l  Personal Items of Significant Value

l  Life Insurance

Lessons from Michael Jackson’s Estate

Even if you take steps to create your plan, get it down on paper and sign it in the presence of witnesses and a notary public, you are not finished until you put some or all of your assets into the trust.

Planning ahead for your own death is a difficult step to take because no one wants to believe it can happen to them; but it will happen.  By giving some careful thought to your goals for your beneficiaries, you will be confident that you are really protecting what matters.




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