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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Estate Plan Made Public

What will happen to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate is coming to light now that the public has gotten a look at his will. The actor — whose net worth was around $35 million — was found in a New York apartment of an apparent heroin overdose, and it appears that most of the actor’s estate will be going to his son. The actor’s will states his assets will be put into an irrevocable trust to be disbursed to his son at his 25th and 30th birthdays.

Hoffman names life long-time girlfriend as the trustee and guardian of his children; however, the will still has to be moved through probate. It is somewhat unusual for the public to get such a glimpse into the private estate planning of celebrities, but because wills are public documents, they do not provide the same privacy as trusts.

The fact that the assets were all titled in Hoffman’s name also means that the estate will have to pay upwards of $10 million in estate taxes, which could have been avoided had an irrevocable trust already been in place. A trust would also make it easier for the beneficiary of the estate to receive the ongoing royalty payments from Hoffman’s movie career.

Even though an irrevocable trust may have made the process easier and less expensive in this case, the fact that Hoffman at least had a will is a positive thing. A will makes the deceased person’s wishes known and can help make sure that the assets are divided and disbursed accordingly. For those in Massachusetts who are beginning to enter into estate planning procedures, discussing the options with someone knowledgeable about probate and estate law can ensure that the process is as painless as possible.

Source: PRWeb, “Phillip Hoffman’s Tragedy Continues with Asset Protection and Estate Planning Blunder Costing His Family More than $10M, Claims” No author given, Feb. 20, 2014

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