Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s will was filed in a New York court on Wednesday.  According to reports, he left the bulk of his estate to his long-time partner, and mother of his three children, Mimi O’Donnell.

In the will dated October 2004, which was written before the births of his daughters Tallulah and Willa, he requested that his son be raised in New York, Chicago or San Francisco. If it was not possible for him to be raised there, he requested that his son visit the cities at least twice a year.

Here are some planning points to highlight for Minnesota parents:

  1. We know all of this because his will is public. A will almost guarantees probate. That allows anyone to know what you have, who you owe and, more importantly for your children, who is getting what, when, and how much.
  2. He failed to update his plan after the births of his daughters. Your estate plan should be reviewed periodically to make sure it expresses your wishes – particularly after a major life change such as the birth of a child.
  3. He included directions about how he wanted his son raised. If you have important instructions about how you want your children raised, and/or how you want the money you leave for them managed, such as to visit specific cities, make sure you have it in writing.

To read more about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate plan, click here.

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Chuck Roulet
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Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker
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