entertainer Jerry Lewis smiles as he speaks during Criss Angel"s aid (Heal Every Life Possible)... <+> charity event at the Luxor Hotel and Casino services pediatric cancer research and also treatment top top September 12, 2016 in las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo through Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Jerry Lewis critical month of heart failure at the age of 91. The left behind a wife, six children from a vault marriage, one embraced daughter, and an estate worth an estimated $50 million.

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But the doesn"t mean all of his kids will benefit, either now or someday, from that estate. Exactly how do us know? due to the fact that he also left a will certainly behind.

A will certainly is a publicly document. Once the probate process begins -- which is what happens as soon as you usage a will certainly as an legacy planning machine -- anyone can view it. That"s how we understand that one of the provisions in Lewis" will states:

“I have actually intentionally exclude, GARY LEWIS, RONALD LEWIS, ANTHONY JOSEPH LEWIS, CHRISTOPHER JOSEPH LEWIS, SCOTT ANTHONY LEWIS and JOSEPH CHRISTOPHER LEWIS and their descendants together beneficiaries of my estate, it being my on purpose to the they shall get no services hereunder.”

The native "intentionally" is used, well, intentionally. If a will is somewhat vague or difficult to interpret, determining the person"s intent deserve to be difficult. Plainly Lewis intended come disinherit the six youngsters named. And he provides sure his intentions room clear by adding "and their descendants."

Why walk Lewis disinherit every the youngsters from his an initial marriage? he doesn"t say, and it doesn"t issue (at least not to us.) Lewis has actually the ideal to distribution his assets in the method he sees fit.

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But we didn"t need to know around it. Had Lewis set upa trust, he might have left his assets to anyone he observed fit -- and done for this reason privately. Trusts, unlike wills, are not windy documents. Add to a to trust may have actually helped minimize or get rid of estate taxes, noted protection from creditors... And spared his heirs the time and expense affiliated in the probate process.


I am an heritage planning and also elder regulation attorney with offices on long Island. In addition to substantial estate planning and elder law services, ns also administer tax and

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I am an heritage planning and also elder legislation attorney with offices on lengthy Island. In addition to considerable estate planning and also elder law services, i also administer tax and also financial coaching come individuals and families. My primary emphasis is help families safeguard their assets native the high cost of nursing treatment if they come to be ill, and also addressing hard-to-discuss topics like exactly how to avoid family members in-fighting by preparing a comprehensive legacy riches plan, arranging treatment for heirs with special needs and anticipating problems that may influence children and also grandchildren. Ns incorporate every one of these experiences, in addition to my knowledge of the law, into my weekly blog ~ above audioeditorfree.com. Ns am a fellow of the American Academy of legacy Planning Attorneys, a member the the nationwide Academy the Elder regulation Attorneys, the American Bar Association and also the brand-new York State Bar Association. Much more information top top the firm is accessible at www.myestateplan.com