For people in California who are working on finalizing their estate planning, they may find themselves wanting to ensure that particular property and assets are directed toward certain people — or that some people in their family are excluded from an inheritance altogether.
Although it is important for people of all income levels to be able to dictate the terms of their estate’s distribution, someone with a large amount of assets may find this to be especially true. This appears to be the case with style maven Vidal Sassoon, who died last year at age 84. Sassoon took care to exclude certain people in his recently revealed will, including his three ex-wives and his estranged adopted son.
It is not clear if anything specifically caused Sassoon to want to disinherit his son. However, in Sassoon’s 2010 autobiography, he described their relationship as difficult and related tales of the boy’s juvenile delinquency and reform-school stint. Sassoon also wrote that if he found a situation hopeless, he was inclined to walk away from it — which is what he apparently decided to do with his now-41-year-old son.
While Sassoon’s choice might strike some as unconventional, had he died with no will in place, his son might have inherited some of the estate after all. One of Sassoon’s three other children died in 2002, so the estate is left mostly to the hairdresser’s two surviving children and his widow. Sassoon, British by birth, left considerable assets in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
Source: Daily Mail, “The £5m cut: Vidal Sassoon leaves adopted son out of will after failing to heal rift before his death,” Nick Craven and Andrew Young, March 23, 2012