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Celebrity wives must ensure there’s an estate plan in place that covers them

The law doesn’t consider fiancés as heirs. Regardless of how they lived and how they referred to each other, without a legal marriage or a solid estate plan, London is subject to the probate court and the laws of intestate succession.

Not much has been said about Kobe Bryant’s estate, estate plan or the lack thereof. Whether he had one or not, because Vanessa Bryant was married to him, she would receive half of his estate and the other half would be split among his children. And because they were married at the time of his death, it is doubtful that there will be a line of people filing petitions against her in the court in an attempt to gain legal custody of their children.

If there is no will or other estate plan, it doesn’t mean the entire estate automatically goes to Vanessa Bryant. The probate court would still have to sort out the shares to be split among the children, in which case she would likely be granted property guardianship of her children’s inheritance. But once they reach the age of majority, they would be entitled to the remainder of their inheritance.

This might not be what the couple contemplated — for their 21-year-old children to be in possession of huge sums of money — but without an estate plan, this could be the result.

Women who are married to celebrities or spouses who are the sole breadwinners need to make sure an estate plan is drafted and that they are very involved in the estate planning process. It’s the only way to ensure that, when tragedy strikes, things run as smoothly as possible and play out according to your plan

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