Unfortunately, estate litigation and family issues are an all-too-common occurrence in Washington state and around the country. When the dispute involves famous individuals, such as the Presley family, there’s a great deal of media attention involved. While all the attention is difficult for the family, it brings to light issues many could learn from in their own circumstances.
Changes to the original documents
According to news reports, Lisa Marie Presley made changes in 2016 to her living trust that switched trustees from her mother (Priscilla Presley) and a previous business manager to two of her children instead. One of those children, Benjamin Keough, has since passed away, while her daughter, Riley Keough, is now the sole beneficiary. Multiple issues pertaining to the document resulted in the dispute.
One of the major lessons to learn is to make sure all legal documents, including living trusts, are accurate. It’s also essential that all affected individuals get notified of any changes. Open communication could help limit the risk of potential probate litigation.
Reports stated that there were several problems pertaining to the changes of the living trust. For example, Priscilla Presley said that the document wasn’t properly notarized, and her name wasn’t spelled correctly. There was also doubt about her daughter’s signature. A huge issue was that Priscilla said no one told her about the changes until after Lisa Marie’s passing.
The impact of a court case can obviously take a significant toll on a family. Depending on the situation, trust litigation may not be worth risking relationships. However, if there are going to be any changes to a legal trust, it’s vital to do everything correctly to decrease the chances of any potential problems.
Taking precautions regarding a living trust and doing everything appropriately is ideal for preventing legal issues and trouble with family dynamics. It’s much better when a family can work together instead of two or more individuals getting involved in a potentially lengthy court process.