In the ongoing saga that is the estate of Robin Williams, the latest episode has seen the late comedian’s children be the victims of online harassment because of a simple estate planning mistake that was made years ago.
There has been intense interest over the details of Robin Williams’ estate, especially since most of the details have been kept private and people have taken sides in the relatively small public dispute between Williams’ widow and his children. However, the recent rediscovery of some old trust documents that had been made public several years ago, has led to Williams’ children being harassed on social media.
The late comedian’s publicist has disavowed those trusts and stated that they do not accurately reflect William’s plans at the time of his death according to Trust Advisor in “Robin Williams Hid His Assets After All, But Any ILITs May Have Backfired On His Planners.”
The problem here is that the old trust documents would never have been made public in the first place, if they had been drafted a little more carefully.
The documents called for two co-trustees, but one of the designated individuals passed away. The remaining co-trustee had to petition a court to allow him to appoint a replacement co-trustee. The trust documents were made public through the court case.
This represents a failure of trust drafting, since the trusts documents should have had provisions for successor trustees and how they could be named without the need to go to court.
Despite that error, the details of Williams’ estate are still mostly unknown to the public. If his publicist is to be believed, then Williams did change his plans later and those later plans are not known.
Reference: Trust Advisor (Nov. 20, 2016) “Robin Williams Hid His Assets After All, But Any ILITs May Have Backfired On His Planners.”
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