Food icon Anthony Bourdain’s fans in Georgia and throughout the country were saddened at the recent headlines that announced his sudden, unexpected death. He was the father of an 11-year-old girl. He had also been planning to divorce his wife; however, the divorce was never finalized. While some estate analysts who have reviewed his situation say he did not leave behind a thorough enough plan, one thing he did do was place money in trust, with his child as the primary beneficiary.
Since she is a minor, someone will be appointed to oversee the trust for her. Bourdain arranged it so that she will receive portions of her inheritance over time. As written, the trust will dispense assets to Bourdain’s daughter when she reaches age 25, then again at age 30. At age 35, she will be granted full access to any remaining funds in the trust.
Divorce often impacts estate planning and administration issues. In this case, a reported lack of divorce may leave Bourdain’s estate at risk for legal disputes. Since he and his wife were still married at the time of his death, she may be entitled to as much as one third of his estate. Although she and Bourdain were estranged, he named the mother of his daughter as executor of his estate.
Bourdain’s estate was valued at a little more than $1 million, nearly the same amount as a mortgage liability that reportedly exists for an undisclosed property. While not every estate plan, trust or executor-related situation is as complex as this one seems to be, Georgia residents who want to protect their assets and execute plans that provide for adult or minor children may wish to request support from an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can review a given situation and help determine which options (such as revocable or irrevocable trusts) most align with a particular person’s long-term planning goals.