Three months after his death on July 24, the body of actor Sherman Hemsley has still to be buried. Months of legal dispute over Hemsley's will have put the actor's estate in limbo. As we've written previously, a man by the name of Richard Thornton-Hemsley's former manager, and self-proclaimed businessman-claimed that he was the actor's brother.
The most important thing we try to emphasize on this blog, in addition to various tips relating to specific aspects of estate planning, is the importance of writing a will. This means that one should not procrastinate.
In our previous post, we began looking at an article discussing possibilities for a parent looking to leave unequal inheritances to their children. As we noted, this can be a potentially problematic situation when one or more children feel they haven't received what they feel their parent would really have wanted them to receive. This may give rise to a will contest, which can be not only time-consuming and expensive, but stressful for the family. It is much better to take steps to avoid such things while there is still time.
In our previous post, we looked at the difficulty some people face when determining which child gets what part of the estate. The fact is that it is often difficult and/or undesirable to give each child an equal inheritance. In cases where the inheritance setup is unequal, parents need to consider the very real possibility of legal problems down the road.
One of the difficult estate planning issues that can and does come up for couples with children is whether an equal share of their estate should be left to each child.
Sometimes the question arises as to how long a will remains valid after its execution, or whether the witnesses have to be alive at the time it is probated. The short answer is that, provided the will was valid when signed, it is still valid years later. And witnesses do not necessarily have to be alive when the will is probated.