Not a brand-new story, the story of Larry Hillblom bears repeating as an example of why estate planning is so essential and why upgrading that plan is essential. Larry Hillblom was an eccentric multi-millionaire living on the island of Saipan.
Hillblom did leave a Last Will and Testament; however, he also left behind 4 illegitimate children and a legal problem that would span the world and take close to 5 years to conclude.
Although Hillblom’s legal residence was Saipan at the time of death, he also had actually assets found in the United States. The primary recipient under the terms of his Will was likewise situated in the U.S.– The University of California. Hillblom left the bulk of his fortune to a trust that was planned to be utilized by the UC for medical research under the regards to his Will.
After Hillblom’s death, four various women emerged declaring that they had kids by Hillblom– all of whom were verified after DNA screening. Because Hillblom had actually not upgraded his 1982 Will and since his 1982 Will did not have a clause omitting future children or addressing any future kids in any way, an estate fight was waged that eventually consisted of over 200 attorneys on 2 continents. Ultimately, Hillblom’s children were awarded 60 percent of his $600 million estate, making them among the wealthiest locals of Saipan at this point.
Whether this is what Hillblom would have wanted we will never understand. Failing to construct an estate plan that considered possible future events, such as kids, was Hillblom’s very first estate planning error. Not updating his estate plan as his fortune grew and other situations changed was his 2nd huge mistake. 3 of the children were extremely young– one yet to be born when Hillblom passed away– another was 12 at the time and the child of Hillblom’s girlfriend. Hillblom needs to have known a minimum of one of these children existed which should have prompted him to upgrade his estate plan. Just a couple of hours and a small fee could have conserved years of litigation and a small fortune in legal costs