Naperville Attorney Discusses Careful Estate Planning for Those With Medical Conditions

medical conditions, Naperville estate planning lawyerEarlier this month, the sports world lost one of its true icons when former heavyweight champion boxer Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74. The man who once dubbed himself “The Greatest” was well-known around the world as a someone who would fight for what he believed to be right, both in and out of the boxing ring. Now, family members and loved ones are preparing for a fight of their own, as the possibility of disputes regarding Ali’s estate become more and more likely.

Over the last several decades, the former champ’s battle with Parkinson’s disease had become very difficult to watch, as the silver-tongued, brash, young man who had turned sports and American culture upside down in the 1960’s and 70’s began to physically deteriorate. In my practice as an estate planning attorney, I have seen many will contests arise based on the testator’s medical condition. While nothing has been filed to date regarding Ali’s fortune, many believe it is only a matter of time.

Children and Former Spouses

Disputes regarding a deceased person’s estate are most commonly brought by children from previous marriages and the former spouses themselves. In Muhammad Ali’s situation, he is known to have fathered nine children—including one adopted son—throughout four marriages. Though he was married to his fourth wife for the 30 years prior to his death, previous wives have suggested that paternity suits have always been an issue for the champ, and that more should be expected in the wake of his passing.

Medical Questions

Throughout his public struggle with Parkinson’s, much was said and written about the physical toll the disease took on Ali’s body and motor skills. However, Parkinson’s can also dramatically affect a person’s cognition, causing confusion, memory loss, and, in some cases, dementia. With a fortune as large as the Ali estate is rumored to be—up to $80 million or more—there are bound to be challenges based on the former champ’s mental capacity.

Possible Bright Side

Muhammad Ali’s fourth wife, Lonnie, to whom he was married for the last 30 years, has been credited with helping manage his business financial affairs. There is no reason, then, to doubt that a comprehensive estate plan does exist, though it has yet to be released. Of course, the specific wording and the timing of the plan will be important, though, if it was prepared carefully, it should withstand any challenges from unhappy would-be heirs.

Dealing With a Medical Condition?

If you or a loved one is suffering from a medical condition like Parkinson’s disease that could lead to questions about your will or established trusts, it is important to work closely an experienced Naperville estate planning lawyer. We can help you create a plan that is both legally and financially sound, while ensuring that your wishes are carried out as directed. Call The Gierach Law Firm today at 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

Forbes

New Yorker

Parkinson’s Disease Foundation