The death of the founder of Zappos is the most recent illustration of critical mistakes that can be made in the estate planning process. Tony Hsieh was a well-known industry expert and author who passed away without a will or other estate planning documents. You can leave a lasting gift to your loved ones by considering these important issues well in advance and documenting your plans clearly.
When the founder passed away in a house fire last November, he left behind an $840 million estate with very little planning clarity around what should happen next. According to friends and family members who had access to his property after his death, there were thousands of sticky notes throughout the house indicating financial commitments to co-workers, employees, businesses and friends.
With no clear will or other estate planning tools in place, it appears that the vast majority of his wealth could be subject to a substantial 40% tax rate. Many other prominent people have sadly avoided the benefits of estate planning and left behind a mess for their loved ones. Other examples include Prince, Aretha Franklin, and Bob Marley.
While these estates had substantial assets inside them that further complicate the administration of those belongings, everyone can benefit from some basic estate planning tools to make things easier for their family.
Without an adequate plan in place, this can make things very difficult for your loved ones to navigate and can also mean that property that you intended for one specific party to receive never ends up in their hands.
Schedule a consultation with a trusted estate planning lawyer to learn more about how you can avoid this situation and give the gift of proper estate planning to your family. At our Pasadena estate planning law office, we regularly guide individuals and couple through this process so you feel confident.