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Will Giving Estate to Mick Jagger Is Reminder of Risks of Disinheriting Relatives
When fashion designer L'Wren Scott committed suicide, she left her entire $9 million estate to her boyfriend, Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, instead of to her sister or brother. Disinheriting a relative is not a simple process, and fights often break out between loved ones when someone is left out of a will.
In a short, three-page will, the fashion designer left all of her belongings and property along with her residual estate to Jagger. The will specifically states that she is intentionally omitting any other heirs.
In general, siblings do not have any right to inherit from each other, but leaving next of kin out of an estate plan could make them angry and more likely to contest the will. According to Manhasset, New York, ElderLawAnswers member attorney Robert Kurre, Scott left her brother and sister "an invitation to file a lawsuit over her will." In New York, where Scott resided, next of kin must be notified of a will and given a chance to challenge it. Since Scott's will was prepared less than a year before she committed suicide, Kurre believes her siblings could claim Scott didn't have the legal capacity to execute her will.
Kurre also says Scott’s will could be challenged on the way it was executed. He notes that the will was prepared by a California attorney whose specialty is listed as real estate and business law, not estate planning, and that the attorney was not present when Scott signed it the same day it was delivered to her in a hotel room.
Squabbles over wills can drag on for years and prevent your heirs from receiving their inheritance. If you want to disinherit a relative, the best thing to do is be clear about your intention in your will. It is also important to understand how your state treats disinheritance. Finally, even if your estate is less than $9 million and it isn’t going to an already wealthy Rolling Stone, you will benefit from the services of a qualified elder law or estate planning attorney.
For more information about disinheriting a relative, click here.