Simple estate planning mistakes fuel ongoing saga of the estate of Robin Williams.

The estate of Robin Williams has encountered some problems with the discovery of old trust documents, according to Trust Advisor in “Robin Williams Hid His Assets After All, But Any ILITs May Have Backfired On His Planners.”

Most of the details of the Williams’ estate have been kept private, despite a small public dispute between Williams’ widow and his children. However, the recent rediscovery of some old trust documents that had been made public several years ago, has led to Williams’ children being harassed on social media.

The late comedian’s publicist has disavowed those trusts and stated that they do not accurately reflect William’s plans at the time of his death.

The problem is that the old trust documents would never have been made public in the first place, if they had been drafted a little more carefully.

The documents called for two co-trustees, but one of the people who were designated passed away. The remaining co-trustee had to petition a court to allow him to appoint a replacement co-trustee. The trust documents were made public through the court case.

This represents a failure of trust drafting, since the trust documents should have had provisions for successor trustees and how they could be named without the need to go to court.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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