We like to share information about celebrity estate planning cases that arise from time to time. Sometimes when you hear about a scenario that unfolded surrounding a high-profile individual you get some insight into what to do and what not to do when you are planning your estate.
With the above in mind we recently highlighted the dispute between the children of the automotive design legend Carroll Shelby and his seventh wife Cleo. The former race car driver and entrepreneur died on May 10, 2012 at the age of 89 after carving out an extraordinary legacy.
The children were in possession of estate planning documents signed by Shelby that stated his desire to be cremated with the ashes distributed in a certain manner. His wife claimed that she had the right to bury his body, and the matter was held up while this dispute was in progress.
Now we are seeing reports about a resolution having been reached in this case. As it turns out both parties have agreed to the cremation with 20% of the remains going to Cleo, each of the three children getting 20% of the remains, and 20% being buried in the Shelby family plot in Leesburg, Texas.
One thing to be learned from this case is that is that it is wise to be communicative among those that you will be leaving behind after your passing. If you apprise everyone of your true wishes while stating them in writing with the assistance of a good estate planning lawyer disputes like this one can usually be avoided.