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.

Aug 25, 2011

The recently revealed contents of the last will and testament of the late superstar fashion designer Alexander McQueen reveal how this powerful legal document can ensure an individual’s legacy reflects his or her passions.

McQueen’s estate included cash assets of more than $26.3 million, according to The Independent. Most of this money went to a trust for his charity, Sarabande, with the funds to be disbursed as financial aid for students at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design, the London school he attended.

Aug 22, 2011

Demonstrating the importance of meeting all legal requirements when drawing up a last will and testament, the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recently invalidated the will of Gladys A. Wright, disinheriting her children of about 205 acres of land.

In her 2007 last will and testament, Wright bequeathed her possessor land holding in Cherokee County to her four children.

Aug 16, 2011

In a case demonstrating the importance of preparing clear estate planning documents and reviewing them with trusted parties, a judge recently overturned the last will and testament of the late Elizabeth Lacey of Lawrence, Massachusetts, the Merrimack Valley Eagle Tribune reports.

After the 89-year-old Lacey passed away in 2007, her family was surprised to learn she named a neighbor, William Hale, her sole beneficiary, according to the Eagle Tribune.

Aug 5, 2011

Settling a legal dispute related to the last will and testament of William O'Connell, Boston's first Catholic cardinal, O'Connell's descendants recently agreed the cardinal's remains could be moved to a new gravesite, The Boston Globe reports.

O'Connell's grave occupied land owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston until 2004, when the Archdiocese, needing money to compensate victims of the clergy sex abuse scandal, sold the property to Boston College, according to The Globe.

Aug 4, 2011

A Nashville judge recently ordered that royalty payments for the music of country music legend Jim Reeves be distributed according to provisions in the last will and testament of his late widow, The Nashville Tennessean reports.

After Jim Reeves died in a 1964 plane crash, his widow Mary Reeves received all the royalties from his music, and when she remarried in 1969, she and her second husband, Terry Davis, signed a prenuptial agreement stating Mary would retain all the royalty rights, according to The Tennessean.