Estate Planning

Find newsworthy stories on estate planning—including poor estate planning, and issues and tips for last will and testaments, living wills and living trusts.

Oct 7, 2011

Steve Jobs, the visionary computer technology innovator who died October 5, likely set up living trusts prior to his passing, ensuring that the distribution of his assets will remain private.

In March 2009, Jobs and his wife, Laurene, transferred their ownership of three residential Silicon Valley properties to two different trusts, Reuters reported.

Sep 28, 2011

Alisha Brennon, whose civil union partner Christina Santiago was killed in a stage collapse at a Sugarland concert in August, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Marion County, Indiana, where the incident occurred. Because Indiana does not recognize domestic partnerships, it is uncertain whether a court will allow Brennon to pursue compensation for her spouse's death.

Brennon's attorney, Kenneth Allen, told the Chicago Tribune she and Santiago were among the first in line after Illinois legalized civil unions in June.

Andrew M.

Sep 23, 2011

In a case demonstrating how important it is to compose a last will and testament and appoint a trusted executor, Dayatra Baker-White of Greenville, South Carolina, recently pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the estate of late civil rights activist Dr. William Bagwell.

Following Bagwell's death in 2006, Baker-White, his trustee, did not create an account to assist minority women per the instructions in Bagwell's last will and testament.

Sep 19, 2011

The widow of acting legend Tony Curtis recently sold about 500 items belonging to her late husband, and the auction renewed the controversy surrounding Curtis' last will and testament and his trust.

Curtis revised his last will and trust in May 2010, shortly before his death, explicitly disinheriting all five of his children, including actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

According to the provisions of the revised will, Curtis' widow, Jill Vandenberg Curtis, became the primary beneficiary of his estate.

Sep 15, 2011

A situation recently unfolded near the Texas town of Kerrville that demonstrates why it's wise to prepare for the possibility of an accident by drawing up a last will and testament.

Robert Porter, an 85-year-old World War II veteran, drove his car along a dirt road near his home to look at a pond when the car slid down an embankment and became stuck. Because the ground was so soft, the wheels could not get traction, and due to a preexisting back injury, Porter was not able to climb to safety.

For three days, the man was trapped in his car.