As if grieving her husband's unexpected passing wasn't enough, Vanessa Bryant, wife of basketball star Kobe Bryant, is now having to try and amend her husband's trust to include their youngest daughter. Kobe Bryant’s trust was last amended in 2017, after his other daughter, Bianka’s birth, to include Bianka as a beneficiary after Kobe passed away. However, with their newest daughter being born nine months ago, Kobe never got around to adding her as a beneficiary of his trust. No one could have ever expected this death, due to Kobe Bryant’s young age and great health. However, no one is immortal. You can be a multi-millionaire, super star, and a world-class athlete, but timing is still everything. Making sure to take care of new family members right after they are born is essential, and will ensure that in the case of a sudden passing, your newest family member will be taken care of. It also prevents your family members from having to go through the lengthy probate process which can take months or even years to complete (wasn't one of the reasons the trust was set up in the first place to AVOID dealing with the probate court???). That’s something you don’t want your family dealing with while grieving your death, just like Vanessa Bryant is doing now.
Many people may be confused as to why the probate court needs to get involved with a trust. Normally, trusts avoid the probate process. However, after someone passes away, the probate court is the institution that oversees any disputes related to someone's estate (whether they used a trust, a will, or nothing). In this case, the Bryant family is asking the probate judge to modify Kobe Bryant's trust after he has already passed away. They are arguing that Kobe had previously amended his trust to add each of his children as beneficiaries after they were born, and therefore, Kobe meant to add his youngest daughter to his trust (but just never got around to it). In this case, if we still had the ability to ask Kobe, he would most likely say that he DOES want his youngest daughter to be taken care of like the rest of his family. However, we can't ask him anymore. Also, it is a very big deal for a probate judge to allow a trust to be changed after the trust-maker has already passed away. At this point, we will have to wait and see if the Bryant family wins their argument.
If your estate plan hasn't been updated (or if you don't have a plan in place at all), don't wait any longer. "Wait and see" or "I'll get around to it later" are not very good estate plans. Your family deserves better. Call The Rosenbauer Law Office, LLC today at 513-463-6789 and take the first step towards making sure your loved ones will be protected if and when you pass away. You can also click the "Schedule A Call With Nick" button to schedule a phone call with Attorney Nick Rosenbauer.