Friday, September 21, 2012

Smart Rider

The late Dennis Hopper made several wise estate planning moves late in his life. First, he had a pre-nuptial agreement when he married his fifth wife. Second, when he was dying and was in the midst of an acrimonious divorce with her, he created a trust for their then 7 year old daughter to which he left nearly $3 million. The then estranged spouse/now widow has no control over the trust assets.  

Two points. When a couple is divorced with minor children, I always advise my client to create a trust to hold assets for the children upon the death of the client. Otherwise, the former spouse will control the assets until the child turns 18 and may benefit from the assets. Second, when marrying for the 5th time, I am glad to see that Mr. Hopper had learned enough from his 4 previous failed marriages to execute a pre-nup. Old dogs can learn new tricks.