Delayed payment plan questioned in Whitney Houston's will

Parents in Orlando want to make sure their children are safe, secure and well taken care of. One of the ways in which parents can protect their children is by creating a clear and intentional last will and testament that outlines their wishes for after they are gone. This will likely include instructions on how heirs and beneficiaries should collect assets assigned to them.

One thing that some parents overlook is periodically updating a will to reflect the inevitable changes that families go through. Children are born and may grow to have their own families, and significant amounts of money can be made or lost. Without an updated will in place, a person's intentions can be called into question.

Recently, Whitney Houston's mother and sister-in-law filed a petition to do exactly that. The women are questioning Houston's original plan to leave her only daughter, Bobbi Kristina, a substantial amount of money. They are not disputing whether Bobbi Kristina should receive the money, but they are attempting to clarify the terms of the delayed distribution Houston specified in her will.

Her will was signed in 1993, the same year Bobbi Kristina was born. Houston originally laid out a plan that gave her daughter 10 percent of her estate when she turned 21, an additional one-sixth of the estate when she turns 25 and the remaining balance at age 30. Bobbi Kristina is currently 19 years old, so in less than 2 years, she will be receiving an enormous amount of money.

Houston's mother and sister-in-law are worried that Bobbi Kristina will not be able to handle that kind of money at such a young age. They recently filed a request to have the payments delayed further as a means of protection. Their concern is that Houston's originally developed plan to space out payments did not take current situations into consideration, making it risky to follow the letter of the will.

They are asking a judge to re-examine and establish the distributions in such a way that they more accurately reflect Houston's original intent, given the dramatic change between her assets now versus nearly 20 years ago.

This is a strong example of why it is important to periodically review the terms of a will to ensure that it still reflects a person's intent and wishes.

Source: Forbes, "Whitney Houston's Family Doesn't Trust Bobbi Kristina's Ability To Handle Money," Danielle and Andy Mayoras, Oct. 2, 2012

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