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Legal battle over Robin Williams' estate has ended

When a family member dies it is an emotionally situation for everyone involved. When the family member does not have important estate planning documents filed prior to their death their estate can be in limbo. With so many people today having multiple spouses, stepchildren, etc., estate administration can get tricky. This has been the case with the late Robin Williams' estate.

Robin Williams died in August 2014 which is when a family feud over his assets began. At the time of his death, his 3 children were set to inherit their father's estate. But a provision in his will allowed for something for his surviving spouse who he married in 2011. The children battled with his wife over Mr. Williams' personal possessions, finally reaching a settlement last week. His spouse argued that she did not have enough money to maintain their home. In the settlement she received enough support to continue living in the home until she dies at which time the home will go to the three children. She also received wedding gifts, clothing and a watch. The three children received the majority of their father's possessions including all of his awards.

Blended families often make estate planning difficult. One thing that blended families should learn from the Robin Williams case is that it is important to have an estate plan that makes sense for the family. Everyone should know what the estate plan includes and doesn't include and who is getting what and why. That will help make sure the family does not have as many disagreements upon the person's death.

Communication between family members is important in making sure that everyone is aware of the estate plan. Heirs should know where they stand along with a surviving spouse. Estate planning can help a family at the time of death by having them not have to worry about the assets and who gets what and focus instead on the emotional aspect of grieving.

Source:, "Robin Williams' Family Has Ended A Long Legal Battle Over His Estate," Sara Boboltz, Oct. 3, 2015

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