David Bowie’s Last Will and Testament – What Is to be Learned?

Last week David’s Bowie’s Last Will and Testament was filed in a New York Surrogate Court.  We learned how he wanted to be remembered, a subject I addressed in an earlier post.  We also learned how his considerable estate will be divided and about specific gifts he wanted to have made.  But most importantly, we learned that having a Last Will and Testament as the main instrument that details the disposition of our estate does not ensure privacy regarding our personal and financial affairs after death. In fact, having a Last Will and Testament means that anyone can see who benefits from an estate and ensures the Court has to be involved at some level. 

For some individuals, privacy may not be a priority issue after death, but for others privacy is tantamount.  This is why when you think about your own estate plan you should ask – “What level of privacy in my personal and financial affairs do I want to achieve after my death?”  If you want the utmost privacy, then consider using a Revocable Living Trust as the main instrument in which to dispose of your estate.  If, however, there are problematic parties or other reasons to have the Court supervise the administration of your estate, then perhaps having only a Last Will and Testament to dispose of your estate is the path to take.  But, you should consider who will have access to your estate plan and what will they learn as result.  Either way, a thoughtful conversation with your professional advisor should be had as you begin constructing your estate plan. #davidbowieswill #estateplanning #revocabletrust #livingtrust