Robin Williams - Doing it Right with the Revocable Trust
Most of the time we refer to celebrities as examples of poorly designed estate plans. In essence, more times than not, a celebrity is an example of "how not" to do something. For example, many have read about Marilyn Monroe's probate estate that was opened following her death on August 5, 1962 and was not actually closed until 2001. Although Marilyn Monroe's probate is not typical, it does illustrate that most of us would be advised to avoid probate altogether.
Several media sources have indicated that Robin Williams may have used an estate planning document called a "Revocable Trust." The revocable trust is a document that Robin Williams would have established during his lifetime to provide for the distribution of his assets upon his death. The distribution of Robin William's assets with the revocable trust is done without the public court process called probate. As such, Robin Williams can keep his affairs regarding his assets, the beneficiaries and the distribution of his assets private and avoid the public spectacle that often follows a celebrities' death.
As a longtime admirer that truly appreciated Robin Williams' wit and humor, it is nice to see that he had his estate plan well planned with a revocable trust. We can, and should, all learn from Robin Williams' wisdom in establishing a revocable trust to pass on his estate free of probate while maintaining his families' privacy.