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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Inheritances Archives

Hugh Hefner's wife left out of his estate plan

Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy media empire, recently died at the age of 91. Minnesotans who were familiar with the mogul's life may remember that he married his third wife in 2012 and she was around 60 years younger than him. In addition to his wife, Hefner is survived by four children from his prior marriages.

Handling digital assets upon death

Estate planning has long dealt with transferring property such as real estate, funds and jewelry as inheritances. Technology, however, has created new issues with the advent of digital assets such as the information stored social media, Twitter, blogs, personal or professional websites and online bank accounts. Minnesota residents may be surprised to hear, however, that many existing wills, estate plans and trusts have not properly addressed digital property, which can end up in contentious court fights.

Trusts can potentially prevent disputes between loved ones

Parents in Minnesota may not wish to leave equal inheritances to their children, because of their unequal income and resources and their different need for the inheritance. They may also have different expenses such as an upcoming college education for their children or have expenses associated with a child with a disability. A parent may want to completely or partially disinherit one of his or her family members.

When shouldn't one make an outright gift to a loved one?

Many accounts allow the transfer of some property or inheritances to family members and others in Minnesota without undergoing probate, such as jointly-owned accounts and real estate, retirement accounts and life insurance policies and transfer on death or in trust for accounts. These are usually transferred outright to beneficiaries upon the presentation of a death certificate. A living trust may also be created that becomes effective immediately upon execution

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