According to an Investment News' report, Philip Seymour Hoffman may have left his longtime companion and the mother of his three children, Marianne O'Donnell, with a large tax bill and outdated will. Under Hoffman's will, which was filed with New York City Surrogate's Court earlier this week, Hoffman left everything in his estate to O'Donnell. The couple was not married at the time of Hoffman's death and the estate will not be able to take advantage of the estate tax breaks reserved for spouses. Hoffman's will gives O'Donnell the option of disclaiming all or part of her inheritance which would allow the property to pass into a trust for the benefit of their oldest son. Unfortunately, Hoffman's two daughters were not born at the time the will was executed and were not named beneficiaries of the trust.
Hoffman's estate problems serve as an important cautionary tale. Although a good estate plan should account for potential changes in your life, such as after born children, it is crucial to have your estate plan reviewed every couple of years and after major life changes. The Costello Law Group provides full service estate planning and estate administration services. If you have any questions regarding developing or updating your estate plan, please contact the Costello Law Group at (877) 418-0003.