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Estate Planning Horror Stories

Frances Bean Cobain turned 28 this year. You may recall her famous Grunge Rocker dad, Kurt Cobain, front man for Nirvana. He died in 1994 at the age of 27.

It may not seem obvious to every 27-year-old that they need an estate plan, even though most are not mega-stars with hundreds of millions of dollars but everyone needs some level of planning, especially if you have kids.

Frances Bean was 20 months old when he took his life. His estate was worth around $450 million and he had no Will or Trust. His widow was notoriously known for manic behavior and excessive drug use. Leaving an infant and a Hollywood mom with addiction struggles tons of money was (and is) a recipe for lifelong drama and heartache.

In her short life, Frances has moved over 20 times, her father’s estate (and hers) have been in and out of court for over 20 years, she has filed multiple restraining orders against her mother and she has had to defend her inheritance in divorce court. The list goes on in a tabloid-esque fashion, endlessly. With even just a small amount of planning, this all could have been avoided.

Is Kurt Cobain’s estate an extreme example? Maybe. But the reality is that you don’t have to be a super star for your lack of planning to wreck your kid’s future. It can happen to those of us with even modest means.

If you have children and have not created a Trust to specify how your assets should be distributed if you die unexpectedly, your kids will likely end up inheriting everything when they turn 18 or a couple of years after the probate starts. Is that what you want? Doubtful.

You have the opportunity to “control from the grave” if you plan ahead. Assets can be given to your children over time, with conditions and guidelines to set them up for success. We can help you!

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