Not a new story, the story of Larry Hillblom bears duplicating as an example of why estate planning is so crucial and why upgrading that plan is necessary. Larry Hillblom was an eccentric multi-millionaire living on the island of Saipan.
Hillblom did leave a Last Will and Testament; however, he likewise left 4 illegitimate kids and a legal headache that would span the world and take near to five years to conclude.
Although Hillblom’s legal home was Saipan at the time of death, he also had possessions located in the United States. The primary recipient under the regards to his Will was likewise located in the U.S.– The University of California. Hillblom left most of his fortune to a trust that was intended to be utilized by the UC for medical research study under the terms of his Will.
After Hillblom’s death, 4 different women came forth claiming that they had kids by Hillblom– all of whom were verified after DNA screening. Since Hillblom had actually not upgraded his 1982 Will and because his 1982 Will did not have a stipulation leaving out future children or resolving any future kids in any way, an estate fight was waged that eventually included over 200 attorneys on two continents. Eventually, Hillblom’s children were granted 60 percent of his $600 million estate, making them amongst the wealthiest residents of Saipan at this point.
Whether this is what Hillblom would have desired we will never understand. Failing to construct an estate plan that took into account possible future events, such as children, was Hillblom’s first estate planning error. Not updating his estate plan as his fortune grew and other situations changed was his second huge error. 3 of the kids were extremely young– one yet to be born when Hillblom died– another was 12 at the time and the child of Hillblom’s girlfriend. Hillblom needs to have understood at least among these kids existed which must have prompted him to upgrade his estate plan. Simply a couple of hours and a small fee might have saved years of lawsuits and a little fortune in legal costs