Movie buffs in Georgia may have heard about the passing of John Singleton. He had an estate that was valued at about $35 million, but it is unclear how the assets will be divided. This is because his will had not been updated since 1993. At that time, only one of his seven children were born.
This means that the other six children are not included in his will. One of the children claimed that her grandmother was trying to keep them from inheriting any portion of the estate. Singleton's mother filed the will in probate court, but she listed his assets at only $3.8 million. Therefore, there is a chance that other assets are included in a trust that holds assets outside of the estate. However, it was not clear if this is the case.
While it can be beneficial to have a valid will as part of an estate plan, the creator should review the documents periodically. Ideally, this will be done whenever an event such as the birth of a child takes place. If children are not included in a will, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are entitled to nothing. However, it may take time and money to determine what they are entitled to.
A legal battle may create tension between family members or otherwise cause frustration after a loved one passes on. If children or other beneficiaries are not included in a will, they may still be included as beneficiaries to assets in a trust. The use of a beneficiary designation can also ensure that a child, grandchild or other party gets an asset after the owner passes. An attorney could assist with estate planning or probate issues that may arise.