A lot of times you can learn something from the estate planning misdeeds of others, and with this in mind we would like to take a look at the situation that ensued when Swedish author Stieg Larsson passed away in 2004 without an estate plan.
Larsson was the man who wrote the book The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and this book was subsequently used as the premise for a major motion picture. Larsson was able to garner considerable financial success throughout his life, amassing a fortune that was estimated at approximately $40 million when he passed away.
He died as a result of a heart attack when he was just 50 years old. Like a lot of people, Larsson probably felt as though death was a long way off and that he would have plenty of time to think about estate planning later on.
He lived with the same woman for 32 years and it would be logical to assume that Larsson would have wanted to provide something for her financially. But because of the fact that he did not let his wishes be known in writing, the matter played itself out in court and in fact she received nothing at all; the entirety of the Larsson estate went to his brother and father.
The lesson to be learned is this: You never know what the future holds and there are no guarantees. To be certain that your loved ones are provided for come what may you need to execute the appropriate documents, and the first step toward this end would be to arrange for a consultation with a good Hartford estate planning attorney.