Though comedian Joan Rivers was likely not expecting the worst before an accident during throat surgery lead to her death earlier this year, it appears that she realized the importance of creating an estate plan. According to the Associated Press, it has been announced that Rivers’ daughter Melissa will be the executor of her estate.
An executor is a person designated by the testator (the person creating the estate plan) to carry out his or her wishes after he or she passes away. Thus, Melissa Rivers will be tasked with “the broadest and most absolute permissible direction” to execute the terms of her mother’s will.
Rivers’ estate is estimated to be worth as much as $150 million, so her daughter’s task could be highly complex. The AP article does not mention if she has retained an attorney to assist her.
The terms of Joan Rivers’ will reportedly contain donations to several of her favorite charities. These include the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Jewish Home and Hospital Foundation, Guide Dogs for the Blind, a food pantry called God’s Love We Deliver and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Rivers also set up a living trust, which is a trust that the testator puts assets into while he or she is still alive. She named her business manager and interior designer co-executors of the trust. The AP was not certain of the contents of the trust.
Whether your estate is as substantial and complex and Joan Rivers’ or not, having an estate plan in place can ensure that your final wishes are carried out.