When she died last summer, socialite, philanthropist and horse-racing enthusiast Marylou Whitney left $17.2 million to her children, homes to 2 employees and the rest of her vast fortune to her husband. Whitney’s will, which was filed December 12th in Ballston Spa, included an admonishment to her heirs that they would risk the loss of their inheritances if they contested her will: “I have given a great deal of thought to the division of my property at my death… I do not want any of those persons or entities named herein to contest the distribution being made to them or others, or in any way challenge my decision.”
While most of us don’t have vast fortunes like Mrs. Whitney’s to leave to our heirs, we can still take a valuable lesson from her: proper estate planning is the key to making sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes once you die. Also, while a good estate plan can’t guarantee that your heirs won’t fight over assets after you die, it can help minimize the risk of this by clearing communicating your final wishes. Give us a call at 518-313-7809 to schedule a consult to discuss crafting a personalized estate plan or updating the estate planning documents you already have in place.