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WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM LARRY KING’S ESTATE

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning attorney, I often review the wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents that are used by celebrities and well-known personalities. I find the doing this helps me illustrate to my clients some of the easy mistakes they can avoid when it comes to creating their own estate plan. This brings us to Larry King, and the estate and mess that he left after his death.

Though we don’t know the precise value it is anticipated that Larry King’s estate is worth about $2 million. Given his success as an interviewer of celebrities and somewhat of a celebrity personality himself, it’s possible that his estate is much larger than this. Whatever the value of his estate it is big enough that his family is fighting over it.

Larry King lived an interesting life. Though he had filed for divorce from his 7th wife Shawn King, in August of 2019, the divorce was not finalized prior to his death. It appears that after filing for divorce, Larry King prepared his own handwritten last will and testament dated October 17th, 2019, that left his entire estate to his five children. In other words, he specifically did not include his wife Sean in his handwritten Will.

Shortly after his death, his son Larry King Jr., filed a petition to be the administrator of King’s estate. However, King’s wife has now filed a legal objection to the updated will and to Larry King Jr.’s seeking appointment as the administrator. Because she was still married to him when he died, King’s wife is claiming that the handwritten will is not sufficient to replace Kings official will, which was a formal document that was filed in 2015. This document names King’s wife as the sole Trustee of the King Family Trust, which is an estate planning trust in charge of Kings name and likeness rights as well as the sole shareholder of Kings company LK Productions and Larry King Enterprises, Incorporated, both of which will likely continue to generate income for many years into the future.

We can all learn some very simple lessons from this mess. First, it’s important for a person to realize that they likely cannot do their own estate planning. They simply don’t have the knowledge, skills, or experience that would help them understand whether the estate plan they are creating is actually valid or not.

To help our clients get started with their estate planning, we provide a free Estate Planning Questionnaire, that we can either email to you or you can download from our web site. This is a PDF document that you can type directly into and save to your computer. Once the Questionnaire is filled out, you can email it back to us.  Then we schedule a free 30-minute consultation to review your information and discuss the things that are important to you when it comes to your own estate plan. Once we know what it is that you want to accomplish, we provide you with the options you have available and we explain those options to you. This includes the flat fee prices we charge for each of the options you can choose from.

The second lesson we can learn, is the importance of making valid changes to your estate plan when a significant change occurs in your life. Life doesn’t stand still for anyone. We all go through major life changes which include family members being born or family members dying, a marriage or divorce, relationships changing, someone moving away, and so forth. Any of these things may make it necessary for you to make a change or an update to your existing estate plan so it still accomplishes what you want it to do.

If you have questions or concerns about your own estate plan, we can help. We have assisted numerous clients in the creation and updating of their plan and we are confident that we can help you too! Call us today.

ENLIST AN IDAHO ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU

 

If you have any questions about your estate or how to simplify your plans for your family and loved ones, we can help.  Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Pocatello. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at lane@racineolson.com. We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems. I have helped numerous clients create their own customized estate plans and I’m confident that I can help you too.

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