What Minnesota Families Can Learn From His Will

Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s will was made public on Monday. Reports indicate that he left his $4.1 million dollar estate to his family, former staff members, schools and the ruling African national Congress. Under South African law, Mandela’s third wife is entitled to only half of the estate – though reports are she may waive that right and select certain properties.

An important thing for Minnesota families to note is that Mr. Mandela’s will was completely public. Here in Minnesota, wills are public as well. That means that if you use a will as your estate-planning vehicle, anyone can find out how much you have, who you owe, and who is getting what, when, and how much after you pass away.

Another important thing to note is that Mr. Mandela’s wife had a specified amount of the estate that she was entitled to under South African law. Here in Minnesota, a surviving spouse also has statutory rights to the estate of a deceased spouse. In instances where the surviving spouse was the only marriage and any and all children of the deceased were also children of the surviving spouse, that is not usually a problem. However, if there are surviving children from a prior relationship, the statutory rights of a surviving spouse can have unintended consequences and even lead to litigation unless a properly prepared estate plan was put into place to address the issues in advance.

If you have questions about your own planning, give us a call today at 763-420-5087.

Chuck Roulet
Connect with me
Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker
Post A Comment