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Heirs in dispute over funding of trust

Actor Robin Williams, who hanged himself in 2014, left behind a widow and three children from two previous marriages. According to reports, those four heirs have been dealing with a dispute over the actor's estate. A judge set a hearing in the case, hoping the group would have resolved the issues prior to that date. Reports indicate that, while the four have resolved many differences over the actor's personal belongings, and issue regarding the funding of a trust still exists.

Reportedly, Williams left instructions that his widow was to remain in the home they had shared. She was also to be given enough funding through a trust so that she could live in the home for the rest of her life. News reports do not indicate that Williams was specific about the amount of funding she was to receive, which is at the heart of the dispute.

The three children and the wife have not been able to agree on how much the widow should receive in order to cover expenses for the rest of her life. Attorneys for both sides are reportedly working with mediators on the issue and the judge has granted additional time for the process.

It's interesting to note that this is not a case where estate administration issues arose because someone did not leave behind documents and make wishes known. However, because the actor did not specify details regarding some personal belongings or the amount to be provided to the widow, a gray area exists. There's a fine line between too much detail and not enough detail in estate planning: Values and expenses change over time, and dictating exact funding for the house expenses might have left the widow in need in future years. This is just one reason to seek experienced assistance when dealing with estate documents.

Source: Fox 411, "Robin Williams' family at odds over how to divide estate," June 01, 2015

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