Foodies and travelers alike in New Jersey may have been saddened to hear of the death of celebrity television personality, Anthony Bourdain, who rose to fame through his food and travel shows. Sometimes, when we hear of a celebrity death, we also find out that the celebrity lacked a proper estate plan, often leading to disputes and litigation. However, Bourdain did leave an estate plan that highlights what was important to him.
First, Bourdain's estate plan made provisions for his daughter, who will inherit most of his estate, which is worth more than $1 million. In addition, as Bourdain traveled extensively through his work, he earned a significant amount of frequent flyer miles. His estranged wife will inherit these miles, with direction to do with them what she thinks Bourdain would have wanted.
In the end, Bourdain thoroughly documented his wishes in a will and he also included provisions for the designation of a specific agent. His death, while unfortunate, does at least show how having a well-rounded estate plan can protect your loved ones. In addition to a will, those creating an estate plan may also want to consider trusts as a means of passing assets on to a loved one or charity. In addition, a person can execute a living will, which provides them with a means for dictating what end-of-life care they desire.
Estate planning is important, and although many people may recognize this, many still haven't taken the steps to form an estate plan. Without an estate plan, a person's assets will be passed on to surviving relatives through the state laws of intestate succession, which may or may not have been what the deceased would have wanted. A well-rounded estate plan, as exemplified by Bourdain's, can help ensure a person's assets are passed on to their chosen heirs in the manner the person desires.