Estate Planning Blog

Estate Planning Is for Everyone at Every Age
Estate Planning Is for Everyone at Every Age

Estate Planning Is for Everyone at Every Age

Estate Planning Is for Everyone at Every Age.

As we go through the many milestones of life, it’s important to plan for what’s coming, and also plan for the unexpected. An estate planning attorney works with individuals, families and businesses to plan for what lies ahead, says the Cincinnati Business Courier in the article “Estate planning considerations for every stage of life.” For younger families, having an estate plan is like having life insurance: it is hoped that the insurance is never needed, but having it in place is comforting.

For others, in different stages of life, an estate plan is needed to ensure a smooth transition for a business owner heading to retirement, protecting a spouse or children from creditors or minimizing tax liability for a family.

Estate Planning Is for Everyone at Every Age: here are some milestones in life when an estate plan is needed:

Becoming an adult. It is true, for most 18-year-olds, estate planning is the last thing on their minds. However, at 18 most states consider them legal adults, and their parents no longer control many things in their lives. If parents want or need to be involved with medical or financial matters, certain estate planning documents are needed. All new adults need a general power of attorney and health care directives to allow someone else to step in, if something occurs.

That can be as minimal as a parent talking with a doctor during an office appointment or making medical decisions during a crisis. A HIPAA release should also be prepared. A simple will should be considered, especially if assets are to pass directly to siblings or a significant person in their life, to whom they are not married.

Getting married. Marriage unites individuals and their assets. For newly married couples, estate planning documents should be updated for each spouse, so their estate plans may be merged, and the new spouse can become a joint owner, primary beneficiary and fiduciary. In addition to the wills, power of attorney, healthcare directive and beneficiary designations also need to be updated to name the new spouse or a trust. This is also a time to start keeping a list of assets, in case someone needs to access accounts.

When children join the family. Whether born or adopted, the entrance of children into the family makes an estate plan especially important. Choosing guardians who will raise the children in the absence of their parents is the hardest thing to think about, but it is critical for the children’s well-being. A revocable trust may be a means of allowing the seamless transfer and ongoing administration of the family’s assets to benefit the children and other family members.

Part of business planning. Estate planning should be part of every business owner’s plan. If the unexpected occurs, the business and the owner’s family will also be better off, regardless of whether they are involved in the business. At the very least, business interests should be directed to transfer out of probate, allowing for an efficient transition of the business to the right people without the burden of probate estate administration.

If a divorce occurs. Divorce is a sad reality for more than half of today’s married couples. The post-divorce period is the time to review the estate plan to remove the ex-spouse, change any beneficiary designations, and plan for new fiduciaries. It’s important to review all accounts to ensure that any controlling-on-death accounts are updated. A careful review by an estate planning attorney is worth the time to make sure no assets are overlooked.

Upon retirement. Just before or after retirement is an important time to review an estate plan. Children may be grown and take on roles of fiduciaries or be in a position to help with medical or financial affairs. This is the time to plan for wealth transfer, minimizing estate taxes and planning for incapacity.

Reference: Cincinnati Business Courier (Sep. 4, 2019) “Estate planning considerations for every stage of life.”

 

Managing an Aging Parent’s Financial and Legal Life
Managing an Aging Parent’s Financial and Legal Life

Managing an Aging Parent’s Financial and Legal Life

Managing an Aging Parent’s Financial and Legal Life.  As parent’s age, it becomes more important for their children or another trusted adult to start helping them with their finances and their legal documents, especially an estate plan. In “Six tips for managing an elderly parent’s finances,” ABC7 On Your Side presents the important tasks that need to be done.

In managing an Aging Parent’s Financial and Legal Life make sure the family knows where important personal and financial documents are in an emergency. Start with a list that includes:

  • Bank, brokerage and credit card statements
  • Original wills, power of attorney, healthcare directive and living will
  • Insurance policies
  • Social Security information
  • Pension records
  • Medicare information

They’ll need a list of all accounts, safe deposit boxes, financial institutions and contact information for their estate planning attorney, CPA and financial advisors. Even if they don’t want to share this information until an emergency occurs, make sure it is somewhere a family member can find it easily.

Set up direct deposit for any incoming funds. Automating the deposit of pension and benefit checks is far more secure and convenient for everyone. This prevents a delay in funds being deposited and checks can’t be stolen in the mail or lost at home.

Set up automatic bill payment or at least online bill payment. Making these payments automatic will save a lot of time and energy for all concerned. If your parents are not comfortable with an automatic payment, and many are not, try setting up the accounts so they can be paid online. Work with your parents, so they are comfortable with doing this. They will appreciate how much easier it is and saving themselves a trip to the post office.

Have a “Durable Power of Attorney” prepared. This is a legal document prepared by an estate planning attorney that gives one or more people the legal authority to handle finances or other matters, if they become mentally or physically incapacitated.

Have a “Living Will” and a “Healthcare Power of Attorney” prepared. The Healthcare Power of Attorney allows a person to make health care decisions for another person, if they are mentally or physically incapacitated. The Living Will allows a person to express their wishes about end-of-life care, if they are terminally ill and unable to express their wishes.

Take precautions to guard against fraud. Seniors are the chief targets of many scams, for two reasons. If they have any kind of cognitive decline, no matter how slight, they are more likely to comply with a person posing as an authority figure. They have a lifetime of assets and are a “rich” target.

An estate planning attorney can work with your parents to assist in preparing an estate plan and advising the family on how to help their parents as they age. Most estate planning attorneys have access to a large network of related service providers.

Reference: ABC7 On Your Side (Sep. 5, 2019) “Six tips for managing an elderly parent’s finances,”

 

Does a Beneficiary of an Estate Need to Live in the U.S.?
Does a Beneficiary of an Estate Need to Live in the U.S.?

Does a Beneficiary of an Estate Need to Live in the U.S.?

Does a Beneficiary of an Estate Need to Live in the U.S.?  When a person dies without a will, the distribution of his or her estate assets is governed by the state’s intestacy statute. All states have laws that instruct the court on how to disburse the intestate decedent’s property, usually according to how close in relationship they are to the person who passed away.

A recent nj.com article responded to the following question: “My ex’s new wife isn’t a citizen. Does she get an inheritance?” The article explains that under the intestacy laws of New York, for example, if the deceased had children who aren’t the children of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse is entitled to the first $50,000.00 of the estate plus one-third of the balance of the estate.

Also, under New York law, aliens or those who are not citizens of the United States are eligible to inherit assets and the same is true for New Jersey.

In California, if you die with children but no spouse, the children inherit everything. If you have a spouse but no children, parents, siblings, or nieces or nephews, the spouse inherits everything. If you have parents but no children, spouse, or siblings, your parents inherit everything. If you have siblings but no children, spouse, or parents, those siblings inherit everything.

Also in California, if you’re married and you die without a will, what property your spouse will receive, is based in part on how the two of you owned your property. Was it separate property or community property? California is a community property state, so your spouse will inherit your half of the community property.

In that case, an ex-husband’s wife who lives in and is a citizen of the Philippines doesn’t need to be physically present in the state to inherit assets from her husband.

Does a Beneficiary of an Estate Need to Live in the U.S.? Not according to New York statutes. If the deceased owned property in the Philippines, the distribution of those assets would be according to the laws of that country.

Reference: nj.com (August 28, 2019) “My ex’s new wife isn’t a citizen. Does she get an inheritance?”

 

More Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan
More Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan

More Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan

More Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan. Every estate planning attorney will tell you that they meet with people every day, who sheepishly admit that they’ve been meaning to review their estate plan, but just haven’t gotten to it. Let the guilt go.

Attorneys know that no one wants to talk about death, taxes or illness, says Wicked Local in the article “Five Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan.” However, there are five times when even an appearance before the Queen of England has to come second to reviewing your estate plan.

You have minor children. An estate plan for a couple with young children must do two very important things: address the care and custody of minor children should both parents die and address the management and distribution of the assets that the children will inherit. The will is the estate planning document used to name a guardian for minor children. The guardian is the person who will determine where your children will live and go to school, what kind of health care they receive and make all daily decisions about their care and upbringing.

If you don’t have a will, the court will name a guardian. You may not like the court’s decision. Your children might not like it at all. Having a will takes care of this important decision.

Your estate is worth more than $1 million. While the federal estate plan exemptions currently are at levels that remove federal tax from most people’s estate planning concerns, there are still state estate taxes. Some states have inheritance taxes. Whether you are married or single, if your assets are significant, you need an estate plan that maps out how assets will be left to your heirs and to plan for taxes.

Your last estate plan was created before 2012. There have been numerous changes in state estate tax laws regarding wills, probate and trusts. This is not the only state that has seen major changes. There have been big changes in federal estate taxes. Strategies that were perfect in the past, may no longer be necessary or as productive because of these changes. While you’re making these changes, don’t forget to deal with digital assets. That includes email accounts, social media, online banking, etc. This will protect your fiduciaries from breaking federal hacking laws that are meant to protect online accounts, even when the person has your username and password.

You have robust retirement plans. Your will and trust do not control all the assets you own at the time of death. The first and foremost controlling element in your asset distribution is the beneficiary designation. Life insurance policies, annuities, and retirement accounts will be paid to the beneficiary named on the account, regardless of what your will says. Part of a comprehensive will review is to review beneficiary designations on each account.

You are worried about long-term care costs. Estate planning does not take place in a vacuum. Your estate plan needs to address issues like your plan, if you or your spouse need care. Do you intend to stay in your home? Are you going to move to live closer to your children, or to a Continuing Care Retirement Community? Do you have long-term insurance in place? Do you want to plan for Medicaid eligibility?

All of these issues need to be considered when reviewing and updating your estate plan. If you’ve never had an estate plan created, this is the time. Put your mind at ease, by getting this off your “to do” list and contact an experienced estate planning attorney.

Reference: Wicked Local (Aug. 29, 2019) “Five Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan”

 

Can Charles Manson’s Heirs Get Profits from “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”?
Can Charles Manson’s Heirs Get Profits from “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”?

Can Charles Manson’s Heirs Get Profits from “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”?

Can Charles Manson’s Heirs Get Profits from “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”? The Quentin Tarantino movie, starring Brad Pitt, Leonard DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie, features the Manson killings and ends with a shocking bloodbath 50 years after the grisly murders.

Wealth Advisor’s recent article, “Charles Manson’s grandson can profit off of Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood,” also notes that the movie prominently features a song called “Look at Your Game, Girl,” written by aspiring songwriter Charles Manson before his followers’ murderous spree. The tune is sung a cappella by girls in Manson’s ‘family,’ as they walk through Los Angeles and forage for food.

Tarantino said that he only used Manson’s music, after assuring himself that his family wouldn’t benefit, and that royalties and licensing fees would go to the victims’ families. However, since the movie was released, controversy has exploded and a DailyMail.com investigation has discovered the issue around Manson’s music is far more complicated and likely to wind up in court.

“Quentin told friends that he struggled with the decision to use Manson’s music, and only agreed to use it after being assured that any money from its use would go to the victims’ families,” a movie insider told DailyMail.com

Mary Ramos, music supervisor on the film, agreed, noting “Even considering using that, we wanted to find out … what happens if this is used, where the money goes. And there was a trust set up for the victims, and no-one even associated with the Mansons and the Manson family makes money off that song.”

Manson had initially visited director Roman Polanski’s home in 1968 search of Hollywood legend Doris Day’s music producer son Terry Melcher, who had talked about giving Manson a recording deal. Manson was upset that Melcher changed his mind on the contract, and discovered that he no longer lived at the house.

On August 8, 1969, Manson ordered family devotees Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins to return to the house and kill everyone inside, including actress Sharon Tate, Polanski’s wife.

Fast forward a few decades. Guns N’ Roses recorded Manson’s song “Look at Your Game, Girl” on the hit album ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’ that went platinum in 1993. Lawyer Nathaniel Friedman, who filed a 1971 wrongful death suit for one of the victim’s grandchildren, negotiated a lucrative settlement with the band.

However, that wrongful death judgment wasn’t extended, and eventually the rights to profits from Manson’s music reverted to the killer’s family, although that led to a bitter fight when Manson died in prison in 2017, at age 83. There were two men who claimed to be Manson’s biological sons. Another man said he was Manson’s biological grandson, and a friend claimed to have been bequeathed Manson’s estate in his final will.

Can Charles Manson’s Heirs Get Profits from “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”? After a long legal battle, Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman, won and was given permission to take possession of the killer’s remains in March 2018. However, there’s still a fight ongoing over who will inherit the Manson estate. However, Freeman will most likely prevail, given his early success. As a result, any royalties, licensing fees, or profits from the use of Manson’s song in “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” probably will go to Manson’s grandson.

Reference: Wealth Advisor (August 27, 2019) “Charles Manson’s grandson can profit off of Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood”

 

How Does an Executor Obtain a Credit Report for Decedent?
How Does an Executor Obtain a Credit Report for Decedent?

How Does an Executor Obtain a Credit Report for Decedent?

How Does an Executor Obtain a Credit Report for Decedent? Obtaining the credit report for a decedent is important to protect their assets before any criminals target them for identity theft and credit card fraud, advises credit.com in the article “Dealing with a Credit Report for the Deceased.” Speed is of the essence for this estate task.

In most cases, the only person who is the subject of the credit report should have access to it. However, there are times when you need to pull someone else’s report, such as when a loved one dies. Other instances are when an employer is checking on a potential employee’s credit, or when a landlord wants to know more about a tenant.

To obtain a living person’s credit report, you must have permission. Permission can be granted on a rental or job application. You’ll also need their Social Security number, name and date of birth.

How Does an Executor Obtain a Credit Report for Decedent? For someone who has passed, it is recommended that you notify the three credit bureaus as soon as possible after a death to make sure the account is marked as “deceased,” so no one can open a credit card account in the person’s name.

If you are the executor and you need to obtain a credit report of a person who has passed, here’s what you will need to do to protect their legacy and obtain their credit report. First, you’ll need certain documents:

  • Proof that you have been named executor of the estate
  • Testamentary letters from the probate court
  • An official copy of the death certificate

You should get several copies of each of these documents, since you will also need them for other aspects of the estate.

Before you can obtain the credit report, the will needs to be filed with the Surrogates’ court. Your estate planning attorney can do this for you, as part of settling the estate. Once all the documents are in order, you’ll need to report the death and contact the three bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You’ll also want a cover letter explaining that the person has passed and that you need the reports to settle the estate.

The letter should include the decedent’s name, their last known address and their Social Security number. There may be a fee, depending on the company’s policies.

Review the report thoroughly and check for any inaccuracies. Make note of any open accounts that need to be paid with the estate or notified of the death. Debts are not all cleared when a person dies, so you’ll want to know what needs to be taken care of. Look for anything suspicious. It could be a sign of theft or fraud.

The last step is to notify the credit bureaus, outstanding creditors and the Social Security Administration of the person’s death. Once proper notification has taken place, the bureaus will mark the credit record as being deceased. No further credit will be extended in the person’s name and no additional accounts can be opened.

Reference: credit.com (Aug. 27, 2019) “Dealing with a Credit Report for the Deceased.”

 

Can I Keep a Loved One’s Inheritance From Their Spouse?
Can I Keep a Loved One’s Inheritance From Their Spouse?

Can I Keep a Loved One’s Inheritance From Their Spouse?

Can I Keep a Loved One’s Inheritance From Their Spouse? A recent nj.com article asks, “How do I protect my niece’s inheritance from her husband?” The article says that in a scenario where someone plans to leave most of her estate to her niece but doesn’t want her estranged husband to get his hands on the money, she must be proactive to make sure the funds go where she intends them to go.

If this happens in New Jersey, the niece’s inheritance will be subject to the New Jersey inheritance tax. The tax is levied based on the relationship of the deceased to the beneficiary. In this case, the niece’s inheritance would be subject to an inheritance tax of 15 to 16%. In New York unless the inheritance is more than 5.7 million there will be no inheritance tax. There are estate strategies that can be utilized.

This inheritance tax is assessed, because the aunt is a New Jersey resident. It doesn’t matter where the beneficiary resides.

One option is for the aunt to leave the assets to the niece outright or in trust.

The laws in many states, like Missouri, South Carolina, and New Jersey, say that unless the parties otherwise agree, upon divorce there will be equitable distribution of their marital property. Marital property generally doesn’t include the property received by gift or inheritance, as long as that person didn’t co-mingle it with the marital property.

Therefore, the most economical way to transfer property to the niece, is to leave it to her in the testator’s will, with instructions for her to keep it separate and apart from her marital property.

An outright bequest may not be the best way to leave property to the niece, even though it’s probably the most economical method for the aunt.

However, if the aunt leaves the inheritance in trust, she’ll make certain the property isn’t commingled with marital assets. In New York State, the inheritance held in trust can be protected from her spouse, other creditors and future nursing home costs.

Can I Keep a Loved One’s Inheritance From Their Spouse? The best way may be to leave the inheritance to an irrevocable trust for the niece. If the trust is properly prepared by an experienced estate planning attorney, the income from the trust will likely not be used to decrease any support to which the niece may otherwise be entitled from her spouse, in the event that they divorce down the road. The trust can also protect against other events, by instructing to whom funds should be paid upon the premature death of the niece. That would further prevent her estranged husband from ever being able to make a claim against the funds.

Reference: nj.com (August 21, 2019) “How do I protect my niece’s inheritance from her husband?”

 

How Does a Probate Proceeding Work?
How Does a Probate Proceeding Work?

How Does a Probate Proceeding Work?

How Does a Probate Proceeding Work? A Will, also known as Last Will and Testament, is a legal document that is used in Surrogates’ Court (probate court), if a person dies with assets that are in their name alone without a surviving joint owner or beneficiary designated, says the Record Online in the article “Anatomy of a probate proceeding.” The probate process proves the will is valid.

Probate is a judicial or court proceeding, where the probate court has jurisdiction over the assets of the person who has died. The court oversees the payment of debts, taxes and probate fees, in addition to supervising distribution of assets to the person’s beneficiaries. The executor of the will is to manage the probate assets and then report to the judge.

Without a will, things get messy. A similar court proceeding takes place, but it is known as an administrative proceeding, and the manager of the estate is called an administrator, and not the executor.

To start the probate proceeding, the executor completes and submits a probate petition with the probate court. The petition must name heirs, beneficiaries and witnesses to the Will. Some executors do this on their own, but most hire an estate planning attorney to help. The attorney knows the process, which keeps things moving along.

The probate petition lists the beneficiaries named in the will, plus certain relatives who must, by law, receive legal notice in the mail. Let’s say that someone disinherits a child in their will. That child receives notice and learns they have been disinherited. Beneficiaries and relatives alike must return paperwork to the court stating that they either consent or object to the provisions of the will.

A disinherited child has the right to file objections with the court, and then begin a battle for inheritance that is known as a will contest. This can become protracted and expensive, drawing out the probate process for years. A will contest places all of the assets in the will in limbo. They cannot be distributed unless the court says they can, which may not occur until the will contest is completed.

The will contest can be resolved in two ways: with a settlement between the parties involved, or with a jury trial. It is always possible that the disinherited person could prevail and be awarded any amount of the inheritance, regardless of what the decedent said in their will.

In addition to the expense and time that probate takes, while the process is going on, assets are frozen. Only when the court gives the all clear does the judge issue what are called “Letters Testamentary,” which allows the executor to start the process of distributing funds. They must open an estate account, apply for a taxpayer ID for the account, collect the assets and ultimately, distribute them, as directed in the will to the beneficiaries.

Can a will contest, or probate be avoided? Avoiding probate, or having selected assets taken out of the estate, is one reason that people use trusts as part of their estate plan. Assets can also be placed in joint ownership, and beneficiaries can be added to accounts, so that the asset goes directly to the beneficiary.

How Does a Probate Proceeding Work? By working closely with an estate planning attorney before a loved one passes away, you’ll have the opportunity to prepare an estate plan that addresses how you want assets to be distributed, which assets may be placed outside of your estate for an easier transfer to beneficiaries and what you can do to avoid a will contest, if there is a disinheritance situation looming.

Reference: Record Online (August 24, 2019) “Anatomy of a probate proceeding”

 

Will a No-Contest Clause Protect Your Estate from Squabbling Kids?
Will a No-Contest Clause Protect Your Estate from Squabbling Kids?

Will a No-Contest Clause Protect Your Estate from Squabbling Kids?

Will a No-Contest Clause Protect Your Estate from Squabbling Kids? We may enjoy watching courtroom drama in movies, TV and on stage, but when it comes to our own lives, most people will do just about anything to avoid an estate battle. A “No Contest” provision is an attempt to preclude this and to give anyone who might be thinking about an estate battle a clear message, according to the article “Why courts enforce a ‘No Contest’ clause from The Daily Sentinel.

The simple answer to the question of “why would a court enforce a No Contest clause” is pretty straightforward. If that’s what you put in the will, that’s what the court wants to have happen.

An estate planning attorney will know the correct wording for your state, but the fundamental message in a No Contest clause is that anyone who attempts to contest or oppose the document will give up their share, lose any right or interest to the estate and will be treated as if they have died before the person who is signing the will.

You can have a will created without a No Contest clause, but if you want to make it very clear how you feel about anyone challenging your will, this is a good way to do it.

As you might imagine, it’s not always so cut and dried. There are limitations that courts need to consider, when they are being asked to enforce this type of clause. The red flag is whether there is “probable cause” to challenge provisions of the will or trust. Simply put, if there is language that either is against the law or against public policy, meaning it encourages behavior that is not legal or desired by our general society, then the court may accept a challenge to the will.

For instance, a provision of a will or trust that would result in discrimination or encourage deceitfulness could be challenged. If the language in the No Contest clause differs markedly from the language in the rest of the document, it could be open to challenge.

For the most part, courts are required to let people decide how they want their assets distributed. For someone who is considering making a statement with their will that may be a bit unconventional or that may not be received well by family members, a No Contest clause will enforce their wishes. It is highly recommended that if this is what someone has in mind, they consult with an estate planning attorney to be sure that their wish will be deemed valid by the court.

Will a No-Contest Clause Protect Your Estate from Squabbling Kids? As with every part of your estate plan, it’s far better to have an estate plan in place with all your wishes carefully outlined, than to hope that your personal executor has the ability to handle your requests. If your will creates a mutiny, then the executor will bear the brunt of the plan. They’ll need to be fully supported by the law, if controversial wishes are going to stand firm.

Reference: The Daily Sentinel (August 24, 2019) “Why courts enforce a ‘No Contest’ clause

 

What Will Happen to Jeffrey Epstein’s Estate?
What Will Happen to Jeffrey Epstein’s Estate?

What Will Happen to Jeffrey Epstein’s Estate?

What Will Happen to Jeffrey Epstein’s Estate?

Jeffrey Epstein’s will was filed in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It’s a “pour-over will” that transfers all of his assets into a trust. The trust is secret, not open to the public, and is administered by trustees. Epstein’s will, which is a public document, claimed assets of more than $577 million.

However, none of that money can be moved into Epstein’s trust until a probate court decides what to do with the numerous claims made against the convicted sex offender and his estate.

CBS News’ recent article, “What we know about Jeffrey Epstein’s will, and what happens next with his estate,” provides a list of questions that can help explain what happens next with Epstein’s estate. His estate will be overseen by the two executors named in the will, attorneys Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn.

The terms of the trust are not public, because they’re not part of the will itself. Epstein’s creation of the trust is commonly done by those who desire privacy. Of course, there is some surprise because the will and the trust were created just two days before he died. One of the most intriguing parts of Epstein’s will is that it lists his domicile (his permanent residence) as the U.S. Virgin Islands. Domicile is important in determining which jurisdiction controls the estate. Domicile must be proven in a probate court, and is usually accomplished with tax returns, a driver’s license, or documented time spent in the jurisdiction.

Another question about Epstein’s will, is whether it will even be declared valid. His will, and thus his entire trust, can be held invalid, if the will wasn’t properly executed and if it wasn’t properly witnessed or signed. There can’t be any fraud, undue influence, or duress. Since the will was made right before his suicide, there’s no certainty of his mental capacity.

His testamentary capacity, which means his mental ability make a valid will or estate, will probably be decided by a probate judge. If his estate planning documents are voided, the assets would transfer to the beneficiary of the estate, which is his brother Mark Epstein. However, Mark would still be liable for creditors’ claims and any alleged victims’ lawsuits.

Epstein’s $577 million in assets will not pass from his estate into his private trust, until all creditors’ claims have been satisfied in a probate court.

Legal experts expect a long, drawn-out, and complex process for deciding the future of Epstein’s wealth.

Reference: CBS News (August 21, 2019) “What we know about Jeffrey Epstein’s will, and what happens next with his estate”