After a court proceeding, a court has agreed to partially seal some of the details of billionaire Harold Simmons’ complex estate plan. The family has requested that the judge seal his entire will from the public, claiming that the complex estate plan could bring unwanted pressure to beneficiaries. New Jersey readers may know that Harold Simmons is a businessman who accumulated massive wealth and properties during his life.
In most cases, it is the law that the details of any probate case be made public after a certain amount of time. However, because Mr. Simmons’ estate involves high amounts of wealth, lawyers for the family fear for the privacy and safety of the beneficiaries. In many cases, extremely wealthy families pass along wealth through trusts. The details of trusts are not public information, but it seems that the majority of Mr. Simmons’ estate was passed through a will.
It can be difficult to know if it is beneficial to pass on wealth, property or assets through a trust or a will. This decision is often based upon how much the estate is worth and the type of assets involved. Estate planning, especially for the extremely wealthy, can be very complicated. This is why it is important to make carefully planned decisions and ensure that all legal documents are in order.
It is normal to want to care for friends and family after death. To ensure that any money and property goes to the correct beneficiaries, it is vital to have all paperwork properly completed. Any complex estate plan in New Jersey should be drafted with assistance and based upon information applicable to each case.
Source: dallasnews.com, Billionaire Harold Simmons will partially opened to the public, Jeff Mosier, Feb. 3, 2014