Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Farrah Fawcett's Living Trust

As Jim Gust and I have written countless times, revocable living trusts have their pros and cons.

One pro: Because living trusts avoid probate, they don't go on public record like a will. The terms of the trust usually remain confidential.

One con: Revocable trusts must be funded. Countless revocable trusts prove worthless because they are empty; the trustors never retitled their securities and other assets.

Neither truism seems to apply to Farrah Fawcett's living trust, last amended two years before her death. The trust terms did not remain confidential. You can read them here. And the "Schedule A" that might be expected to detail the assets placed in trust merely says, in effect, "everything." All Fawcett's personal effects, including artworks. All stocks, bonds and mutual funds. All business interests. All real estate.

Is this how revocable trusts work in California? What about other States?

Fawcett's estate planning draws attention because she left her art collection to the University of Texas. That university is now suing Ryan O'Neal,  claiming ownership of both the silk-screen portraits of Fawcett created by Andy Warhol. O'Neal contends that his friend Warhol created one of the portraits for Farrah and the other – which hangs in his bedroom – for him. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ryan's claim that Warhol gave him the painting seems to be at odds with the video evidence. In the show 'Chasing Farrah', while going through her memorabilia in storage, Farrah stated that she owned TWO portraits. Then in the documentary filmed shortly before her death, Farrah's Story, one painting is seen in her lounge and one in her hallway.