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Consider Larry King's Situation for Your Own Estate Planning

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

I recently learned of the death of Larry King, the well-known reporter who interviewed thousands of celebrities and world leaders. Whenever I learn of the death of an icon, I am often compelled to research their lives to see what kind or type of estate planning they completed before they died. The reason I do this is because I find I can learn many lessons about what should and should not be done when it comes to estate planning. I also use these lessons when I have discussions about estate planning with my clients to help them better understand their own particular circumstances and needs. 

My overall goal is to help each of my clients have their own customized estate plans that will take care of and protect them while they are alive and give them the ability to distribute their money, property, and other assets to their family members and loved ones after they die. My research into the life of Larry King, and also into his estate planning revealed a number of things that I believe would be helpful for you. 

Multiple Marriages

First, Larry King had multiple marriages. In fact, that’s a little bit of an understatement. Larry King was married seven times! His last marriage was also unraveling prior to his death. He and his wife were separated and had been participating in a prolonged divorce negotiation. However, prior to the divorce being finalized, Larry King passed away. 

What can we learn from this? The lesson to be learned has to do with what I called major life changes. Life is not static. It’s often changing around us. These changes could include our personal relationships, or where we live, or many other things as well. When it comes to major life changes, I usually say that it includes a person being born or a person dying; a person being married or divorced; a change in relationships with some other person; or a change in where you live. Any of these things may be a reason to review and update your own personal estate plan. 

Larry King had multiple estate plans during his lifetime. Repeated major life changes that he went through included marriages and divorces. When each of these occurred, it was necessary for him to update his estate plan to reflect what his current circumstances were. If he had not done this, then his estate planning would have included the names of and his plan for his previous spouses. 

In summary, the first lesson we learned from Larry King is that whenever you go through a major life change you need to update your estate plan to make sure it meets your current needs. 

Changes in Finances

Second, throughout his lifetime, Larry King’s financial circumstances changed several times. Earlier in his life, he went through two separate bankruptcies. However, later in his life, he seemed to hit his stride and became well-known and well-respected as a media interviewer. 

While we may not know for sure, it is anticipated that the total value of his estate when he passed away was in excess of $50 million. Most people looking at this would say that they have nothing they can learn from Larry King because they don’t have that kind of wealth. However, there are some lessons to be learned here.

One of the significant major life changes that could occur to you is a change in your financial circumstances. This could occur because of some bad financial experiences such as bankruptcy. However, sometimes it includes good things. You could inherit property from another family member such as a parent. Additionally, maybe your life will be successful, and you will towards the end of your life be the owner of a sizeable estate. 

Whatever your circumstances, if there are changes in your finances it will be important for you to review that as part of your estate planning. In other words, your estate plan should be customized to meet your specific needs. These needs include financial considerations. 

Even if you are not wealthy, if you are the parent of young children, or you have a child who has disabilities or other special needs, then financial planning through your estate plan should be considered. You may need to create one or more trusts as part of your estate plan that will provide for your family members and loved ones financially long after you are gone. 

How We Can Help You

The third and most important thing that you should learn from Larry King is that you do need some help. It’s unlikely that on your own you could consider or create an estate plan that will meet all of your current needs while you are alive and take care of your family and loved ones after you pass away. The good news is, we can help. 

Most people don’t get their estate planning done because they don’t know how to start. We make this process easy by providing you with an Estate Planning Questionnaire that you can fill out. You can receive a hard copy that you can write on or you can download the pdf copy from our website. You can type directly into the pdf copy and save to your computer when you are done. The Questionnaire is the single best way to pull together all of the information you should be considering when it comes to your own personal estate plan. 

We then provide a free 30-minute consultation where we answer your questions and review your Questionnaire to make sure we understand your circumstances. During this consultation we talk about the different options that exist for you and what each of these options will accomplish. We do all of this for free to help you understand how estate planning can help you and your loved ones. 

Part of this free consultation includes our providing you with the flat fee prices for the estate planning options that you feel you might need. This way, you have all the information you need to make decisions about what should be done before you have to pay any lawyer. 

We have helped numerous clients in the creation and updating of their own personal estate plans. We are confident that we can help you too. Contact us today for your own free 30-minute consultation

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning or probate needs. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208.232.6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at lane@racineolson.com or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho estate planning problems.

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