The task of administering one’s estate can often be a source of confusion and consternation among Woodland Hills residents. In the event that one is not abundantly clear regarding the assets that comprise his or her estate, disputes will often arise after he or she is gone. Transparency is encouraged in the valuation of one’s belongings. Thus, when the time comes to pass on those assets, both the parties charged with administering them as well as those receiving them are clear on what the estate is comprised of.
The case of late Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks may serve to reinforce this point. Since the Hall of Famer died earlier this year, the value of his estate is being contested between his wife and the friend whom he’d named as his executor. The executor has claimed that the actual value of the estate is only around $16,000. However, Banks’ widow is asking that proceeds from the sale of the baseball legend’s memorabilia be included in the valuation. She has also asked that financial statements from a trust fund and a bank account be disclosed. Banks’ executor, for her part, has contended that these assets were not meant to be part of his estate. The presiding judge, however, disagreed, giving the executor one month to submit the value of the aforementioned assets.
Clearly and concisely identifying assets during the estate planning process can help to avoid episodes such as this. In the end, the byproducts of these disputes are often anger, sadness, and alienation. Those hoping that their executors and heirs avoid such discord may want to seek the advice of attorney during their estate planning.
Source: WLS-TV “Ernie Banks Estate Executor Must Disclose Memorabilia Sales, Joint Account Records,” Hope, Leah, May 29, 2015