Celebrity Wills and Trusts - Farrah Fawcett

I'm always asked, and always curious, about celebrity Estate Planning. Can they really screw-up their Estate Plan's as much as their lives.

As I discuss in other articles, Revocable Living Trusts are the preferred Estate Planning vehicle for me and my clients. They are usually private and generally can be easily managed. One way I thought we all could all learn about good and bad Estate Planning is to take a look at Estate Planning, or lack there of, by celebrities. This post is about Farrah Fawcett who recently passed.

Farrah Fawcett had a living trust that should have been kept private, but "someone" leaked it to the press and so now we get a chance to look in to her life. It has been posted online courtsey of radaronline.com at the following link:www.radaronline.com/sites/default/files/FarrahFawcettWillREVISED.pdf.
I was surprised to find out that long time boyfriend Ryan O’Neal was left out of the trust, yet Fawcett’s ex-boyfriend, Gregory Lawrence Lott, received $100,000. It appear that the majority of her personal property went to her nephew, along with an additional $500,000 and her father received $500,000 in a special trust for his life time to be used for his welfare.

Her only son, Redmond, received $4.5 million, which is to be held in trust for his life, with the interest on the trust to be distributed to him at least 4 times a year (or more often) and the principal to be used only for his "health". Just for health? Well Farrah must have thought he will need a lot of rehab. Keep in mind the interest alone on $4.5 million, say at 8% a year, is $360,000 or $30,000 a month. The problem here is that Farrah's trustee is required to distribute the interest to Redmond, so he can do whatever he wants with it, which may be against his best interest, especially when you look at his track record. If Farrah were my client I would have suggested more control over the interest and perhaps a broader ability to use the principal for Redmond, say for his health, education and welfare.

Farrah's artwork was left to the University of Texas and her charitable foundation (The Farrah Fawcett Foundation) is basically received the remainder of her estate, including the amount of principal left after the death of her father and her son Redmond. Her estate was apparently worth an estimated $50 million and is to be managed by her trustee, who was her business manager and producer, Richard Francis.

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