Most people steer clear of any hard or depressing topics in day-to-day life, such as death. People do not want to talk about death even though it is an unfortunate event of everybody’s life. Although it is a touchy subject, there are many important factors of a person’s passing that need to be discussed, such as wills. There are many celebrity situations that can show the devastating effects of not getting all of your affairs in order before an unfortunate passing.
Celebrity Journalist Claudia Cohen Made Ex-Husband, Revlon CEO Ronald Perelman, Her Executor
Claudia Cohen made the biggest mistake of her life when putting control of her estate in the hands of her ex-husband, billionaire and Revlon CEO, Ronald Perelman. Cohen, who died of ovarian cancer, left clear instructions in her will that Perelman wasn’t to do anything to create animosity between their daughter and the rest of the Cohen family. Perelman disregarded her directions and filed a suit in court, claiming that his elderly, paralyzed, ex father-in-law had promised to bequeath half of his fortune to his daughter, Claudia Cohen.
That was just one of the many vindictive lawsuits Perelman filed against the Cohen family, pitting family member against family member. Perelman lost every claim on which the lawsuits he filed were based, after spending millions of dollars on legal fees, using money from Claudia Cohen’s estate. But that won’t stop Perelman from spending more of his late ex-wife’s estate money on legal fees for appeals he intends to file.
Lesson to Learn – Be very careful about choosing the person you want to be the executor of your estate. When Claudia Cohen chose Perelman as the executor of her estate, she gave him total control over the distribution of her assets. He ripped the family apart, using her money to file lawsuits, and he was able to do it because he controlled her estate.
Hotel Heiress Leona Helmsley’s Unresolved Family Conflict Raised Questions About Her Mental Competence
Leona Helmsley famously disinherited two of her grandchildren, cutting them out of her will. After her death, the world learned that she left $12 million of her fortune to her Maltese dog, famously named “Trouble.” The two disinherited grandchildren filed a suit in probate court to contest their grandmother’s will, alleging mental incompetence.
Seven months later, the probate court ruled in favor of the grandchildren, and they were awarded $6 million plus their legal fees, and Trouble was only left with $2 million.
Lesson to Learn – Don’t let unresolved family conflicts fester. When you act hastily and disinherit someone for whatever the reason, you give people reason to question your sanity and competence.
These celebrity situations are perfect examples of why it is so important to get the help of experts when it comes to estate planning, creating trusts or wills. Don’t risk complications that could cause lengthy delays in the probate process. Contact the Upland office of Gaudy Law to help make sure all of your affairs are in order.