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February 2014

Five Estate Planning Lessons From The Paul Walker Estate

Paul William Walker IV was the star of the Fast & Furious movies, until his unfortunate -- and ironic -- death in a high-speed car accident on November 30, 2013.  The car, in which Walker was a passenger, was found to have been doing at least 100 mph.  Walker was 40 years old when he died, survived by his parents and his 15-year old daughter, Meadow Rain Walker.  PaulWalker

Recently, Paul Walker's father filed to open the estate, including Walker's Last Will and Testament, which you can read here: Read Paul Walker's Will.  It sheds some interesting information about the Paul Walker Estate and highlights some valuable estate planning lessons.

First, the probate filing and will reveal that Walker had assets of about 25 million dollars, including 8 million in personal property (which would include cash and investments), $8.5 in expected income, and another $8.5 million in real estate (after subtracting mortgages).

Second, the filing shows that Walker had a revocable living trust, benefiting his daughter as the sole beneficiary.  Trusts, unlike wills, are private documents -- so we do not get to see the actual trust document.  The probate documents only reveal that the trust exists and that Meadow is the sole beneficiary of it.

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