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Whitney Houston's estate serves as lesson in planning

Many Florida residents can probably agree that ideally, it is best that family members are not left quarrelling after a person's passing. In an already emotionally trying time, perhaps the last thing that should cause further stress to loved ones is uncertainty involving matters such as how a person's assets should be divided and what a person's health care wishes are. Thankfully, a well-planned estate serves to protect against this scenario.

Unfortunately, one celebrity did not leave as clear and well-planned an estate as perhaps she could have. According to a recent reports, Whitney Houston's family has been quarrelling over what some have speculated as estate matters.

Whitney's 21-year-old daughter recently married a man whom had been raised as a son by Whitney since he was 12-years-old. While the nature of the relationship between her daughter and this man has provided much fodder for the tabloids, it has also been the source of some quarrels in Houston's family. Perhaps it is not only the nature of their relationship, but also the fact that Whitney's daughter recently turned 21, an age in which she will begin receiving her inheritance.

Whitney's daughter, as a result of perhaps poor estate planning, might have become a millionaire when she turned 21. Because Whitney never updated her will or created a revocable living trust, her daughter has now inherited a lot of assets that she is perhaps not capable of handling -- at least according to some of her family members. This is the result, according to the family members, of a failure on Whitney's part in updating her estate.

In order to preserve assets and distribute them in a way that will be of maximum benefit to loved ones, it is vital that estate planning is done thoroughly and carefully. What's more, the estate needs to be continually updated so as to accommodate for any familial changes -- like a divorce or birth of a child.

Source: Forbes, "Whitney Houston's Family Is Fighting - Is Estate Money To Blame," Danielle and Andy Mayoras, March 31, 2014

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