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What Five Oscar Winners Can Teach Us About Estate Planning: Frank Sinatra

by Norris Law Group on December 4, 2014

What Five Oscar Winners Can Teach Us About Estate Planning: Frank SinatraFrank Sinatra was known for many things, including singing, acting, and his connections in and out of the entertainment world. “Ol’ Blue Eyes” also had another hidden talent—estate planning. Danielle and Andy Mayoras write about five estate planning scenarios of five Oscar winners in a 2014 article for Forbes magazine.

Frank Sinatra, Best Supporting Actor Oscar for From Here to Eternity (1955)

Sinatra married more than once, but he did what many people who have had multiple marriages do He planned ahead to avoid any arguments among his family.

Adult children and second (or third, or fourth) spouses often argue over probate issues.  But such disagreements can typically be avoided if a skilled estate planning attorney drafts appropriate documents for you.  Frank Sinatra drafted a highly detailed will in 1933; it was 21 pages in length.  In his will, Sinatra included “no contest clause” (known to estate lawyers as an “in terrorem clause“).  While this was unusual for the time, these clauses are very common today. Sinatra’s will expressly prohibited 13 different legal actions. If any of his family members went to court over his will, those family members would be immediately disinherited.

No one challenged Frank Sinatra’s will, although his children with first wife Nancy Barbato were reportedly unhappy with the amount he left to his widow, Barbara, his fourth wife. Sinatra had previously been married to Barbato and actresses Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow.

Many people assume that their children and spouse(s) will get along after their passing, but, unfortunately, this is not always the case. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead in order to avoid fights amongst your loved ones.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County, UT and throughout Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and California. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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