Internationally known comedian Jerry Lewis recently passed on. Jerry Lewis left a great legacy of laughter for so many of us but disappointment and heartache lead him to specifically disinherit 6 of his adult children. He had previously lost one adult son to drug addiction & eventually suicide.
He listed the six (6) adult children by name and advised that they were specifically disinherited and that this was specifically done on purpose.
The high school dropout comedian, director, producer, and screenwriter, first became extremely popular when he teamed with crooner Dean Martin who acted as the straight man to Jerry Lewis’s many zany characters. Lewis was very successful on stage, movies, and TV, and was for decades. He was also famous for hosting a telethon for children with Muscular Dystrophy.
The iconic comedian’s estate is estimated to be in the Fifty Million Dollar range, given his long and successful career.
When one wants to make sure that they don’t leave assets in their Estate Plan to someone who might naturally inherit, such as a spouse or child, that person needs to be specifically “Disinherited.” This will normally involve putting specific language in the Will or Trust listing the person who is specifically “Disinherited” and will often include another sentence whereby it’s reiterated that they are specifically disinherited. Some parties will put in language stating why that person was disinherited, such as they have not been in a relationship with Trustmaker, or they have treated them poorly, or even been abusive.
The down side of Jerry Lewis using a Will Based Estate Plan is that the Will is public record. You also have the additional expense and delay of Probate Court. There are many reasons why using a Will Based Estate Plan is not a good idea. We outlined those in this blog when we wrote about Whitney Houston’s estate: “Why Whitney Houston shouldn’t have used a Will“.
At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.