The March 2, 2014, Forbes article “Oscar Winners Teach Five Lessons On Estate Planning” by Danielle and Andy Mayoras begins:
In conjunction with the 2014 Oscars, we can look back at past Oscar winners like Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra to see how their estates illustrate important estate planning lessons that everyone can benefit from — even those who aren’t walking the red carpet.
1. Philip Seymour Hoffman: You Can Be Creative With Your Will or Trust
There were many mistakes and pitfalls with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate (including no estate tax planning and his failure to use a revocable living trust, as we discuss in our article). But, Hoffman — whose portrayal of Capote earned him the Best Actor Oscar in 2006 — didn’t do everything wrong.
He gets credit for a key component of estate planning that many people overlook: creativity. Estate planning is not meant to be “fill in the blank” or “one-size fits all.” You can use your will or trust to pass along your goals, values and moral beliefs. Most people think wills and trusts only pass along assets to the next generation, but they can do so much more.
(Boldface is added.)