by Estate Planning Attorney Nydia Menendez
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, known more commonly as simply “Jackie”, was the wife of our 35th President, John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in November 1963. The scene of her at her husband’s side during that tragic event is etched into the minds of millions of people around the world.
After President Kennedy’s assassination, Jackie did not pursue public office or any type of celebrity life. She sought to live privately with her kids. Still, there was one paparazzo who mercilessly followed her and her children’s every step. This paparazzo was arrested by the secret service agents assigned to Jackie. The man sued claiming freedom of the press, and Jackie counter-claimed for invasion of privacy.
After a six-week trial, the court issued a restraining order which required the paparazzo to stay 25 feet away from Jackie. And there were many other situations and examples which made it clear – very clear – that all that Jackie wanted was her privacy.
Sadly, Jackie died of cancer in 1994. It is estimated that at the time of her death her Estate was worth nearly $45 million. She planned the distributions of her fortune with a Will, not a Trust. Because of that, Jackie’s Will is literally a public document which you can find on the internet. This means that you can easily see who got what from this very famous woman’s Estate. In fact, her Will even makes reference to many personal artifacts collected from John F. Kennedy and her years in the White House.
And that is exactly the reason why I felt compelled to write an article about this Famous Estate. Jackie was so adamant about preserving her privacy; it is difficult to imagine why she would have used such a public document as a Will, rather than a Trust which can be kept confidential, as an Estate Planning tool.
The moral of this story is that if you value your privacy, and you prefer not to have the details of your Estate open to all your friends, relatives, and nosy neighbors, a Will is not the right Estate Planning tool to get you there. That’s because, as was the case with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, a Will is recorded with the court and becomes open to the public. Instead, if privacy is one of your concerns, a Trust is most likely the Estate Planning tool you will want to use.
How Can You Get Started with Your Estate Plan?
There are many other factors you’ll want to consider as you develop an Estate Plan. If you want to learn more about how to plan for your future to make sure you remain in control of your decisions while leaving a lasting legacy for your family, then we invite you to call our office at (954) 963-7220 to speak with a member of the Menéndez Law Firm. You may also want to watch the video series on our YouTube channel where we talk about Estate Planning in detail. Or if you want would like to join us for the next live Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning webinar on Zoom you can register at no charge on our website www.menendezlawfirm.com
Estate Planning Attorney
Menéndez Law Firm
2699 Stirling Road, Suite B200
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
Tel.: (954) 963-7220
Fax: (954) 963-7232