Maintaining Your Will Now May Avoid Battles Later

When 1970s pop star Gerry Rafferty died in 2011, his death ignited a lengthy legal battle over who would inherit his estate. The ensuing battle should serve as a reminder that maintaining your estate plan is just as important as creating it.

English: Gerry Rafferty performing in the Nati...
English: Gerry Rafferty performing in the National Stadium on 6 September 1980 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rafferty drafted his will in 2007. The will named his daughter and granddaughter as the beneficiaries of his estate, which included California property and musical royalties. After making the will, Rafferty became engaged to Italian designer Enzina Fuschina. After Rafferty’s death, Fuschina sued for a large portion of his £1.2 million estate.

This situation can happen to virtually any family when a person dies with a will that has not been updated. Good times to update your estate plan include after a marriage or divorce, after the birth or death of a child or grandchild, and any other significant event that affects you or your beneficiaries. It is also important to speak with an attorney about your estate plan if you move to a different state. This is important because different states have different laws concerning probate and intestacy.

Even if you do not experience any significant life events, it is still good practice to review your estate plan once every year. It is better for you to catch mistakes now, than leave your heirs to deal with them later.

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