People in California may have seen a recent news article about a new variation on the old theme of family members behaving badly when it comes to fighting each other for a share of a wealthy benefactor's inheritance. The sad fact is that money, combined with grief at the loss of a loved one, can lead to some serious family in-fighting when the terms of the will are not crystal clear on how to distribute the deceased's assets.
People in California know how important it is to have a will. Not only does a person's will provide him or her with the ability to express final earthy sentiments and provide comfort and closure to loved ones, it has powerful legal and financial implications that will impact the world long after the person is gone. But on the other hand, dying or becoming incapacitated without a will can be a legal and practical nightmare, as the disposition of a person's personal property and assets is essentially left to up to the court system, which will blindly and systematically dictate who receives what without any consideration for what the deceased would have wanted.
Californians may be familiar with the late author and noted liberal thinker Gore Vidal, who passed away last year and left his entire multi-million dollar estate to Harvard University, completely eschewing his family members and relatives by leaving them nothing. But now, Vidal's half-sister is challenging the validity of his will, claiming he was not of sound mind when he made the controversial will.
People in California may have seen a recent news article about the man who was responsible for some of the most iconic fashion photography of the 1960's, and the fate of the fortune he allegedly left to his children. Bert Stern, the man who snapped some of the raciest photos of Marilyn Monroe only weeks before her death, left two competing wills, and a potential court battle between his three children and his wife at the time of his death. He died approximately three months ago, leaving quite a bit of uncertainty as to who will eventually inherit.
Problems can arise when a child or other family member in California is excluded from the will of a deceased loved one. This situation is becoming more and more commonplace in recent years, as more and more people in the "baby boomer" generation inherit money from their dying loved ones. A study has shown that baby boomers could inherit an estimated $8.4 trillion. With so much money changing hands, it's no wonder that some people are feeling deeply slighted when their loved one forgets them or intentionally excludes them from their will.