After a long successful life and career in news broadcast television, Larry King passed away in late January. Although Mr. King filed for divorce in August 2019––against his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick King––the two remained married at the time of his death. According to seventh Mrs. King, Larry King executed a will during their marriage. While that may be true, a hand-written will (also called a holographic will), executed by Mr. King––after the divorce filing––has also surfaced. Mr. King’s hand-written will excluded Mrs. Shawn King from any prior will and left his remaining estate to his five children. Mrs. Shawn King announced her intent to contest the holographic will.
A holographic will is legal and enforceable, assuming the will meets specific requirements. For example, the will must be written entirely in the handwriting of the individual executing the will. These requirements vary by jurisdiction. Many individuals believe after executing a will, their estate planning is complete. Yet, Mr. King’s holographic will is but one example supporting that estate planning is not necessarily a one-time process. Our firm recommends re-evaluating your estate plan every 5-10 years or following major life changes, whichever is sooner. Relevant life changes may include, but are not limited to, the birth of children, a divorce, the death of spouse, a major change in assets, or the birth of grandchildren.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at Rosenblatt Law Firm.