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What Happens When You Don’t Update Your Estate Plan--The Stieg Larsson Story

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Stieg Larsson, for those of you who can’t place the name offhand, was a Swedish journalist and right wing political activist for most of his life

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									What Happens When You Don’t Update Your Estate Plan--The Stieg Larsson Story

Stieg Larsson, for those of you who can’t place the name offhand, was a Swedish journalist and right
wing political activist for most of his life. He will be remembered though as the author of the novel
turned blockbuster movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. As is the case with many writers, Larsson
lived a modest life without acquiring a significant estate up to the time of his death. You see, what
would turn out to be his legacy was published a few months after his death in 2004.

Larsson always dreamed of writing a novel, but only had time to work on his novel after work in the
evenings. After many years of tolling away, he finally had his novel ready and began the search for a
publisher. Sadly, although he did find a publisher, he died of a heart attack a few months shy of actually
seeing his book in print. Not only was the first book a success, but Hollywood soon bought the movie
rights and the second and third novel in the series were also published posthumously. His estate was
already valued in the millions by the time it was probated and the estate continues to earn money
today.

Larsson apparently executed a Last Will and Testament in 1977, but failed to have it witnessed, a
requirement under Swedish law to validate the Will. As a result, his estate was probated according to
the intestate laws of Sweden. Under those laws, his father and brother received his entire estate,
despite reports that he had very little contact with either of them over the years. More importantly, his
partner of 30 years, Eva Gabrielsson, received nothing based on the fact that the two had never officially
married. Reportedly, the only reason the pair had never married was because Swedish law requires
information to be made public when you apply for a marriage license that worried the couple given their
often controversial political activities.

It seems likely that Larsson would have wanted Eva to receive something from his estate given the fact
that they had spent their entire lives together. Unfortunately, since Larsson failed to update his estate
plan, which would have shown the flaw in his original Will and would have allowed him to include Eva,
that was not to be. Larsson’s story illustrates why updating your estate plan is so important so don’t put
off updating yours.

Experienced estate planning attorneys St. Louis MO of the Purcell and Amen, Attorneys at Law – Your
Estate Matters, LLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of St. Louis MO.
To learn more about these free resources, please visit http://www.yourestatematters.com today.

								
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