This blog hosted a write-up of the estate of Huguette Clark, the hundred-millionaire heiress to the fotune of a Michigan copper baron here.
Well known Chicago estate planning attorney Joel Schoenmeyer, author of the blog Death and Taxes, derives some lessons from the Clark estate (or more precisely the Clark estate plan) in an excellent article here.
As stated in my previous post, the Clark estate was rife with warning signs that a dispute could come after the testatrix' death. Schoenmeyer distills the typical signs of a looming will contest into a few points in his article. Paraphrasing, these are
1. There are potential questions about the testator's mental capacity.
2. The testator has strained relations with his closest relatives.
3. The beneficiary of the will plays a role in having it written.
4. A non-relative fiduciary (e.g. the drafting attorney) is a beneficiary of the estate.
Schoenmeyer adds some advice to would-be estate planners on how to cover their legal anatomy when the above warning signs are present. To which, from arduous experience, I can add only my "amen."
Tanner Pittman, LLC is experienced in preparing estates that do everything possible to ward off potential will contests and, when the need arises, to defending estates from contesting "heirs."
Tanner Pittman, LLC is a West Georgia law firm that specializes in estate services, civil litigation, and legal transactions.
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