Washington fans of actress Carrie Fisher may be surprised to learn she was diligent about her estate plans. There have been multiple media reports of other well-known celebrities who have failed to take such steps prior to their deaths. According to probate court papers filed by Fisher's estate executor, her assets are valued at just under $7 million. The executor is seeking a final distribution of her assets.
Most Washington residents, if asked, would likely acknowledge that everyone should have some form of estate plan in place. Despite that, a significant percentage of adults have not taken basic steps towards accomplishing that objective. Other than a reluctance to recognize one's own mortality, one reason for this seeming inconsistency may be confusion and lack of understanding as to what exactly an estate plan entails. Perhaps a clear understanding of the purpose the various documents in an estate plan serve will help provide greater incentive for individuals to prepare for the inevitable and better secure their future.