Our readers have already heard about the recent tragic death of pop star Whitney Houston. From the looks of it, there may be some turbulence for the late entertainer’s estate, which has passed in its entirety to her 19-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina by her will.
According to reports, the singer’s 19 page will left nothing to her ex-husband Bobby Brown. The will, which was filed in Atlanta, makes the teenager the heir to millions. Included in the will are Whitney Houston’s money, clothing, furniture, cars, jewelry and her home. The money from the estate will reportedly be placed in a trust for Bobbi Kristina and will be played out to her at ages 21, 25 and 30.
The trust money, which will be handed over to Bobbi Kristina in its entirety when she turns 30, allows her to withdraw money for certain purposes, including school tuition, everyday expenses and starting a business.
The will itself was apparently drafted in 1993 when Bobbi Kristina was born, amended in 2000, and updated in 2004, when it named Houston’s sister-in-law executor of the estate and her brother-in-law as trustee.
While one can disinherit an ex-spouse, one generally cannot cut a surviving spouse completely out of a will. In most separate property states, a surviving spouse has the right to claim one-third to one-half of the deceased spouse’s estate, regardless of what the deceased spouse’s will says. The amount the surviving spouse can claim may depend on how long the couple was married.
Spousal rights in Georgia are skimpier than in other separate property states. Those who have been disinherited should speak with an attorney to find out their rights and the best course of action.
Source: International Business Times, “Whitney Houston Will: Bobbi Kristina to Receive Everything, According to 19-Page Document,” Michael Billera, March 8, 2012.