After passing away in October 2017, Tom Petty's estate has seen it's fair share of legal issues. The latest filed by Petty's two daughters, Adria Petty and Annakim Violette, who are beneficiaries under their father's trust. The daughters have now filed suit against Petty's widow, Dana York Petty, who is also the directing trustee of the trust. The claims allege that York Petty is superseding the daughters' right to "equal participation" in making decisions for the late singer's catalog. The daughters claim that the phrase "equal protection" in the trust agreement should be interpreted to mean they have a majority vote representing two-thirds of the parties to handle Petty's assets.
Although Texas does not enforce a state estate tax, also known as a death tax, if your taxable estate is worth over the lifetime exemption amount-$5.6 million for individuals in 2018-then your estate will be subject to the federal estate tax. And even though most Americans fall far below the tax's reach, the estate tax has been a point of contention throughout most presidential elections, as candidates often have differing views on its importance to our nation's economy.
Choosing between a revocable living trust and a will for your estate plan depends on your personal concerns and goals. The main difference between the two estate planning options is the necessity of probate. A will requires probate, which is a court-supervised process that administers your estate to your heirs and beneficiaries. On the other hand, a revocable living trust does not require the court-supervised probate process. Consequently, this option obtains more privacy by creating a trust agreement between the trust creator, or grantor, and the trust entity. The grantor often serves as the trustee, managing the property placed within the trust, until he or she dies and a successor trustee takes over, distributing trust property per the trust agreement.
Your estate plan is something that you can personalize as you see fit. Even if you already have an estate plan made, you must update that plan if you get a divorce. This ensures your loved ones know your wishes for when you can't convey them yourself. You probably know that you should divide up your assets when you make the plan. There are also many other things that you should consider when updating your estate plan after a divorce.