FAMILY OF ROBIN WILLIAMS FIGHTING OVER HIS ESTATE
Mr. Williams hanged himself last year at his home in California. He apparently had created an estate plan but a dispute has resulted between his wife and his children over the distribution of his personal property (a very common source of disagreement in many estates) and the cash needed by wife to maintain the home which was distributed to her out of the estate. Given the wealth of the late actor, we can assume the home was large and thus the annual maintenance to keep it up was a number which could be (and is being) disputed between the children and the wife.
Arguably, these details could have been included in the estate plan created by Mr. Williams. The annual maintenance costs in prior years could have been figured and an estimated figure obtained, assuming higher costs in the future. Nevertheless, it appears that was not done and now his survivors are fighting it out in court. This not only wastes time and energy, but creates bad blood among family members, all of whom have undoubtedly been devastated by the loss of their father and husband.
The lesson here is that estate litigation can be avoided with proper and thorough estate planning. The estate plan here probably just needed to be more specific as to the maintenance costs for the home for the wife. As the article states, however, the family has already received many differences which is good to hear. Often estate litigation cases can drag on for years without a resolution and their costs can be staggering.