Estate Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrities
Play episode · 41 min

Our guest today, Jill Miller, runs a firm that specializes in formulating sophisticated personalized estate plans. What makes her stand out is her expertise isn’t limited to US only client or traditional families only. Jill and her firm help take away the fear surrounding - and the likelihood of - audits. Her clientele range from individuals to highly visible celebrities.

When to Update Your Estate Plan

Women often forget that they need to take care of their estate plan while going through a divorce. This includes a will, power of attorney, and health care proxy. Jill advises clients to be very careful while going through the divorce; you can’t make changes that will be in violation of any agreement you have while going through proceedings. Second, as soon as you know it’s okay to make the changes, do it right away.

Who Should You Trust?

The executor of the will, guardian of your children: who should you trust in these roles as you’re creating or updating your estate plan? For an executor, not only do you want someone who is organized, trustworthy, and good with administrative tasks; ideally, you also want someone who is close to you. They’ll be the one who needs to go into your home, secure your belongings, any pets, and generally pick up the pieces if you pass on.

As for the guardian, it’s a huge topic. Many women can’t stand the thought of their ex-spouse gaining full custody of their children, and at the same time, courts don’t like to terminate parental rights. It’s an uphill battle to name a non-parent, but women do have options, and Jill lays out what they are.

Naming Beneficiaries

While updating your estate plan, it should be part and parcel of any good estate attorney to include naming beneficiaries of IRAs and 401Ks. But did you know you should also be talking to the people you’ve named for various roles in your estate? Jill explains why it’s important to have their agreement, too. An executor is personally liable if they make a mistake, and the same is true of guardianship.

A Lesson from Celebrities

When Marilyn Monroe passed away, she had a very large estate. In Marilyn’s case, her biggest assets were her IP, like rights to her movies, pictures, and music. Those went directly to people she wanted to have them, but when those people passed on, they went to strangers.

His death came as a shock, and Prince was one of the most well-known celebrities in the world who didn’t have a will. There’s no use speculating whether that was an oversight on his part or his advisors, but Jill lays out some options for estate planning for people who prefer to keep their lives - and wishes - private. A living trust is a solution for everyone, not just celebrities. More importantly, it’s not just for the wealthy.

Jill shares another story about Philip Seymour Hoffman left his family with a rather large mess and a tax bill that could have been avoided had he updated his estate planning and used a living trust. Jill reminds us that not only do we need solid estate planning; we need advisors who have experience with situations just like our own.

Download the free resources on when you should update your own estate planning. This is the document Jill gives to every one of her clients.

Contact Jill Miller

Jill Miller & Associates, P.C.Educational Videos

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