By: John Farrell
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Is Having a Last Will and Testament Enough? Florence Griffith Joyner Thought So.
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I’ve written in the past about the importance of having an estate plan and I encourage you to look back through some of my blog posts. For some families, a Last Will and Testament will work. For other families, it is smarter to have a Trust that disposes of their property following their passing. Whether the Last Will and Testament was appropriate for Florence Griffith Joyner, the Olympic Gold Medalist, takes a back seat to the fact her family was unable to find her Will when she passed away.
Every day of the week, families will visit my office, whether in Marietta or Chattanooga, and explain they were unable to find the original Will once their loved one passed away. This is problematic because, in Georgia, there is a rebuttable presumption that the person wanted to revoke the Will when the family is unable to find the original.
When her family attempted to probate her sizeable estate, a dispute arose amongst the family about her wishes regarding the disposition of her property. Unfortunately, the Court had to guess as to what her wishes were because she left nothing behind as to where she wanted her property to go. Ultimately, the Court appointed an administrator to probate the estate because the family bickering had gotten out of control.
Imagine if she had made her Will available or if she had bypassed the Will altogether with a Trust. Perhaps her family wouldn’t have been torn apart trying to convince the Court what her true intentions were. If you’re interested about celebrities with amazing estate planning mistakes, click to our blog here. We’ve also listed movies with unbelievable scenes about estate planning which you access here.
If you’d like to discuss whether having a Last Will and Testament is right for you or whether you’d like to avoid the problems Florence Griffith Joyner’s family encountered, give us a call at (678) 809-4922, or contact us for a free consultation.