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Robin Williams' 3 children to inherit actor's estate

Nevada fans of Robin Williams may be interested in how the actor set out plans for the distribution of his estate. Williams died of an apparent suicide August 11, according to police. The 63-year-old Oscar-winning actor had battled substance abuse problems and depression for quite some time.

Williams made millions during his career and, now that he is gone, financial experts are taking a look at how well he planned his estate. First indications are that he may not have left a will, although that could be a good thing. Many wealthy individuals are electing to bypass the will process and place the majority of their estates into revocable trusts. By appointing themselves trustee, the assets are divided according to the trust documents, completely bypassing the probate process.

Although experts often recommend trusts, they say that Williams might have handled the matter in a more effective way by electing a different methodology for distribution. It appears that Williams' trusts are structured to distribute incremental assets to his children when they attain the ages of 21, 25, and 30. If the estate is in the millions of dollars, receiving a large portion of it at age 21 can be a huge responsibility. Other concerns are that the fixed distribution times could possibly coincide with events in the children's lives that will negatively impact a distribution, such as a divorce.

Nevada residents have many of the same options available to them that Williams had. By learning more about the estate planning process, it is possible to develop a plan that maximizes efforts and avoids some of the commonly made mistakes. Anyone who needs help with their trust planning efforts may want to speak with an attorney who has experience in trusts and other aspects of estate planning.

Source: CNBC, "Robin Williams' estate plan: Good, but not great", Kelley Holland, August 12, 2014

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