Written by Robert T. Nickerson
Larry King's wife, who he had been estranged from, has announced that she would be contesting his will.
Both Larry King and his seventh wife, Shawn King, were in the middle of a divorce, as filed back in August 2019. The two were still legally married when Larry died on January 23 from complications involving Covid-19 and sepsis. Apparently, she had recently found out that Larry King had updated his will without her knowing. The result, done in a handwritten document that was done shortly before his passing, left the bulk of his estate to his children…and nothing for her. She's announced her intentions to challenge it in court.
"We had a very watertight family estate plan", she said in an article to the New York Post. She said that the plan "still exists", which had been drawn up in 2015. "And it is the legitimate will. Period. And I fully believe it will hold up, and my attorneys are going to be filing a response…"
It was said that the "handwritten amendment" was written on October 17, 2019, nearly two months after the divorce filing, which left the $2 million estate to his five children, two of them, sons Chance and Cannon, were mothered by Shawn.
When asked why he wrote the amendment to the will, she responded, "It beats me!" and "based on the timeline, it just doesn’t make any sense". She also had claimed that after filing for divorce, she and Larry were talking daily. She's also gone on to claim that she thinks he was influenced by someone to craft an amendment, but would not say who.
Her two sons, Chance and Cannon, have said they were not aware of the amendment and have shown support for their mother. Shawn has said, "They are not happy about this". Even though the amendment had called for the $2 million dollar estate to be split five ways, the estate is said to be further complicated as two of his other children, Andy and Chiara, had died in 2019 from other complications. His other son, Larry Jr, is still alive, though has not commented on the amendment.
Larry had previously married seven other women. Like his other relationships, he and Shawn had their fair share of complications. He had told People in 2020 that, "We had a big age difference that eventually takes its toll. It became an issue. Also, [Shawn] is a very religious Mormon and I'm an agnostic atheist so that eventually causes little problems. We overcame a lot, but eventually, it became a ships-passing-in-the-night situation.
It's hard to see whose right or wrong as we don't have the full story, but we can say that communication is very important when crafting an estate plan. You don't have to end up like Larry King's family. We can make it simple and easy for the family. Click on the button below to contact us for more information.
Written by Robert T. Nickerson
Do you have a child or someone in your family with either physical or mental conditions that would label them special needs? Then chances are your going to face a lot of challenges with their well being and care, especially within the financial side. You also might have other people in the family who'll want to mean well by trying to help. But did you know that you may have to not accept it? Because by accepting their help, this could cause monetary problems for that special needs loved one?
I've got some good news. You can avoid major pitfalls by planning ahead. I'm sure you already know by having a family member with special needs qualifies you for some government benefits. They also can have access to local programs that provides assistance with housing, medial needs, independent living, job training, specialized equipment and other services. One problem that often arises is that in order to be eligible for these programs, you family needs to meet a financial requirement. This is mostly a non-issue if your loved one has little income and few assets.
Though another issue debuts a lot that I see all the time. This is when relatives like grandparents will want to include those with special needs as a beneficiary in their own estate plan. This can include being beneficiaries of insurance policies or retirement assets. This is because if that loved one with special needs receives a large amount of assets or sudden increase in finances, they could be ruled ineligible for important services.
This is where my first tip is to communicate with your relatives with their own plans as well as your own. This is a good chance to see if they decided to be…generous with what they want to give away. If it appears so, then you can use that opportunity to tell them you appreciate the thought, but there are better ways to structure the gift so that it can be more valuable and wont cause problems.
More specifically, they can place the asset or gift into a special needs trust, either one already created in your estate plan or a separate one. What a special needs trust does is that its crafted to help those with special needs to use financial assets or inheritances that can be used for a lot of things while keeping their eligibility for government programs.
There are two types of special needs trusts:
Having an estate plan created for a special needs trust can be a complicated and even scary process. It doesn’t have to be. It just takes some influence with your family and keeping communication channels open. The law offices of Jeffrey C. Nickerson can help with that. Click on the button before to contact us for more information on how we can help your family, your loved one with special needs and the future.
Jeffrey C. Nickerson - Estate Planning Attorney - My Passion is Special Needs Planning!