In the vast majority of the estate battles that we hear about, the issue at the center of the litigation is money, or assets of the estate. What made the estate battled that followed the death of legendary baseball player Ted Williams was that the issue was not who would get his money, but what would happen to his actual body.
Ted Williams is considered by many to be one of the best baseball players to ever play the game. When he died in 2002, the world mourned. Shortly after this death, one of his daughters came forward with a Last Will and Testament executed by Williams in 1996. According to the Will, Williams wished to be cremated and wanted his remains to be disposed of over the ocean off the coast of Florida where he thought the water was beautiful and peaceful. Although the Will appeared to be valid, two of Williams’s other children soon presented a note that was allegedly signed by Williams while in the hospital in 1999–three years after the Will was executed–which expressed his desire to be cryogenically frozen along with his children so that they could all be reunited at some point in the future.
Ultimately, the Williams estate battle was settled when his daughter withdrew her demand that the terms of his Will be followed. Of course, a significant amount of time and money had already been spent at that point, not to mention a rift created between the children. If you decide to change something in your estate plan, make sure you talk to your estate planning attorney about how to reflect the change in your estate plan so that no one will have to argue over your wishes after your death.
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