LA Times – Larry King’s handwritten will complicates the fight over talk-show host’s estateFebruary 16, 2021

Larry King was famous for saying he never researched or prepared for an interview with a guest. He just let it happen. That may work for a TV interview but it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to leaving our things and financial assets for our family and friends after we’ve gone.

“Reports of the handwritten will surfaced last week and Shawn King [spouse]…was notably omitted from the 2019 document, known as a holographic will. The document left the talk-show host’s estate, initially estimated at $2 million, to his five children, two of whom died in 2020.”

“The hand-scrawled document, submitted in Los Angeles Superior Court on Feb. 10 by [Larry] King Jr., was written in October 2019…two months after he had filed for divorce from his seventh wife. That divorce was never finalized.”

A couple of points for MA residents – Massachusetts does not recognize holographic wills (handwritten, no witnesses, etc.); in Massachusetts, you are legally married until you aren’t – Massachusetts does not recognize legal separations. Legal spouses have a claim to a certain percentage of the other spouse’s assets under Massachusetts law “spousal share.”

So many issues here – the holographic will contained a number of basic spelling and punctuation errors – is this a sign of diminished capacity? He allocated his ‘funds’ to his children…what does ‘funds’ mean, is it only money, what about his real estate holdings and personal property (things/stuff)? Two of his children predeceased him, does that mean their shares to their descendants, or back to the remaining children?

“Letting it happen” in the planning world generally means you end up having your assets distributed according to the laws of Massachusetts a/k/a intestacy. Also, the person you want to handle this process may not be the person you would have chosen…again the Commonwealth sets who has priority in this role.

Plans are not static (or shouldn’t be). What works when you set it up can be changed over time as our circumstances, marital status, health of children and other beneficiaries change. Don’t be like Larry King, research and prepare…I’m here to help!

Let’s set up a free 20-minute consultation and get you started on your way to a Personal or Family Contingency Plan™.