Leaving a Child Out of Your Estate Plan? David Cassidy Did it.
In the fall of 2017 we lost some familiar faces. David Cassidy passed away. After he passed there was a lot of coverage regarding his estate. It made headlines due to the fact that he left out one of his children. David Cassidy had two children, a son Beau Cassidy and a daughter Katie Cassidy.
Katie Cassidy was his biological daughter, but he left her out of his will. This was interesting from an estate planning perspective.
Many times we talk to couples that are working on their estate plan and they want to leave a child out. Let’s be honest, there are some families who want to disinherit a particular family member. There are many reasons for this. We are going to look at one reason. One reason is not malice but because one child is much more successful or financially better off then another.
There are viable options for executing these wishes. Many people do it. We like to give the example of George Clooney.
George Clooney’s parents may leave him out of their will or the distribution of their trust, because well, he’s George Clooney. Clooney is an Oscar winner and probably very financially well off. George Clooney doesn’t need to inherit his parent’s home or their bank accounts. Mr. and Mrs. Clooney would not include him in their estate plans, but that would mean they leave everything to George’s siblings. Let’s says he has a sister. She may need more financial support, so it stands to reason that inheriting her parent’s estate makes more sense then sharing it between herself and her brother George.
This sort of situation could easily be the case with Mr. Cassidy. He had two children and he left everything to his son. If you do a quick search of his daughter Katie, she is an actress, has appeared in movies and popular TV shows, and will probably continue to have a long and healthy career. She is the “George Clooney” in this situation.
Her brother, on the other hand, doesn’t have the financial stability she may have. This could be why Mr. Cassidy, not without love and affection, left her out.
There are many reasons families leave a child out of their will. If you are interested in discussing these options or changing your Will or Trust to omit a child, please give our office a call. 818.887.9401.