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The public side of Carrie Fisher's probate

Actress Carrie Fisher of "Star Wars" fame died after suffering a heart attack. As is the case in most deaths here in Georgia, a probate was filed. Recently, some of the details regarding Fisher's probate became public.

It appears that her 25-year-old daughter receives approximately $6.8 million in assets from her mother's will. According to reports, Fisher's daughter inherited several assets, including a vehicle, bank accounts and her mother's public likeness and image, among other things. She was also the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

These and other assets were part of what was publicly probated after Fisher's death. Other assets may be in trusts, which would not be part of the information filed with the court. This is one of the reasons why many celebrities and wealthy individuals prefer to use trust instead of distributing their property through wills alone. They want to keep their information private.

Of course, a Georgia resident does not have to have the wealth of a celebrity such as Carrie Fisher in order to benefit from the use of a trust. Not only could the details of an estate be made public through probate, but heirs may not gain access to the assets for some time, which may put them in a financial bind. Assets kept in a trust could be available to beneficiaries of the trust immediately. How an individual sets up his or her estate plan dictates several actions that take place after death, and creating a plan that meet his or her wishes may require help.

Source: People, "Carrie Fisher's Daughter Billie Lourd to Inherit Nearly $7 Million", Mike Miller, Aug. 9, 2017

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