Need another reason on why it is important to have an estate plan. Last week, the widow of former NFL quarterback Steve McNair, who was murdered by a “girlfriend” in July 2009, asked the Tennessee probate court to allow for the distribution of a total of $2.5 million to the heirs at law of her deceased husband's estate.
Steve McNair died without a will or any other estate planning documents. What is interesting is that although the requested $2.5 million distribution for Steve McNair’s heirs does not identify the heirs by name, it does state that $500,000 is to go to each heir. Simply math means that there are five heirs.
When Steve McNair died he left behind his wife and two minor sons from their marriage, for a total of three heirs. However, when the estate was originally opened, it was rumored that McNair was the purported father of two other children born out of wedlock. That would bring the total to five.
Would Steve McNair have wanted these five people to benefit equally from his estate? Maybe – maybe not. Would he have wanted all this to be aired out in a public court? Probably not.
If McNair had an estate plan, he could have specifically named who was to get what. He could have set up trusts for minor children. He could have kept matters private. When McNair was in the NFL he called the plays on the field and everything was planned out. To bad he didn’t plan things a little better in his personal life.