There are certain deliberate decisions people make when they are planning an estate that may not make sense to everyone who is affected by those decisions. However, an individual’s estate plan is ultimately a very personal matter. Each person has the right to have his or her wishes, whatever they may be, respected and carried out appropriately.
However, in order to avoid excessive challenges and complications that can arise when it comes to controversial estate plans, it can be crucial to make sure that a will is clear, comprehensive and enforceable. Hopefully that is the situation with the will of iconic actor Mickey Rooney, who recently passed away. According to reports, his will made some declarations that some people viewed as controversial.
Rooney was 93 years old when he passed away from what reports say were natural causes and potential diabetes-related complications. He was in relatively good health and had recently cleared a physical examination to appear in a film project.
Fortunately, Rooney had taken steps just weeks ago to make sure his affairs were in order. The actor had updated his will and had specifically stated that his stepson would be the recipient of the bulk of his $18,000 estate. He left his estranged wife a portion of the earnings from his pension and his Social Security benefits. What may have been surprising to some, however, is that Rooney disinherited his eight children in his will. Reports suggest that Rooney had a tumultuous relationship with his children, and even lost millions of dollars when one of his stepsons reportedly mismanaged his finances.
Given the rocky relationship with his family members, it may not be surprising that Rooney named his attorney as the executor of his estate. Having an outside party serve in this position can be a very effective way to make sure that familial ties and connections do not interfere with difficult decisions that need to be made.
Rooney’s will may serve as a strong example of how beneficial it can be to update a will or estate plan regularly and assign an appropriate executor, especially if there may be controversial aspects of an estate plan. With legal support, a person can be sure that their wishes are protected by having an effective and enforceable estate plan in place.
Source: ABC News, “Mickey Rooney Leaves $18K Estate to Stepson,” Anthony McCartney, April , 2014