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Heath Ledger’s death illustrates the need to update wills

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2015 | Wills, Wills

Fatal accidents and illnesses are unpredictable. Even young Massachusetts adults could fall victim to them at any time, which makes the need for wills and other estate planning documents crucial, no matter the age of an adult. The news media underscores this point every time they report that a celebrity has died.

Furthermore, the aftermath of celebrity deaths can teach many Massachusetts residents a thing or two about estate planning. Most people will not have the abundance or complexity of assets that celebrities do. However, the importance of having the correct documents under certain circumstances crosses all income barriers.

For instance, Heath Ledger made sure that he had a will in place in case of his death. At the time he drafted his will, he did not have a daughter. After she was born, Ledger failed to update his will to ensure that she was provided for after his death. Had his family not generously given all of his estate to her, she might have inherited nothing. Ledger’s death proves that updating an estate plan after a major life event is crucial.

Even without a major life event, estate planning documents need to be reviewed from time to time to ensure that they still accurately express the maker’s wishes. Wills, trusts and other estate-planning documents may be changed when needed throughout a person’s life. As people grow older, accumulate wealth and experience life changes such as marriage, childbirth and other events, an estate plan can change right along with them.

Source:, “7 Estate Planning Lessons from Celebrities”, Megan Elliott, Oct. 3, 2015


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