The purpose of an estate plan is to ensure that property is dispersed in accordance with one's wishes upon death. Most of the time this means that estate property is left to spouses and children, oftentimes with an even split when multiple individuals are involved. However, although that may be the default when it comes to considering estate planning, it is by no means the only way that estate planning can play out.
Instead, estate plans can be custom-tailored to fit an individual's wishes. This even means that people can be entirely left out of an estate plan. This was the scenario in Richard Harrison's case. The "Old Man," as he was called, was well-known for his appearance on "Pawn Stars." He recently passed away leaving a will that specifically excluded one of his three children from receiving any property. In addition, the man's will, which had been amended in 2017, specified that the children of the child who was written out of the will would not receive anything from the estate.
No reason was given for why Mr. Harrison chose to leave nothing to that child and his or her descendants, but he had every right to do so. People can choose to pass over leaving property to individuals for any reason at all, or even for no reason. This is why estate planning can be so powerful. Individuals truly have control over what happens to their assets upon their passing. Those who fail to be clear in their estate plan, can wind up having property passed down to those individuals they would otherwise choose to pass over.
So, California residents who are thinking about creating or amending an estate plan should think carefully about what they want to happen when they pass away. By discussing the matter with a legal professional who is skilled in this field, these individuals may be able to utilize estate planning tools that meet their needs, leave their minds at ease and ensure that property distribution will be carried out exactly as they intend.