Stieg Larsson -- Another Example of Why Estate Planning Is So Important
In case the name doesn‘t ring any bells offhand, Stieg Larsson is the author of the awarding
winning novel turned movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Larsson was a Swedish
journalistic all his life who turned novelist literally months prior to his death. Ultimately, his
estate was valued at upwards of $50 million and climbing; however, his lifelong partner didn’t
receive a dime as a result of Larsson’s lack of an estate plan.
Larsson was a controversial journalist throughout his life who, like many writers, decided to
write a novel in his spare time later in life. The publishing rights for the novel were purchased
shortly before his death. Larsson died of a heart attack in 2004, just months before his first
novel skyrocketed to the top of the charts all around the world. Hollywood soon purchased the
rights to turn the book into a movie. Larsson had already finished a second and third book in
the series prior to this death. A fourth book was almost finished.
Although Larsson had apparently signed a Last Will and Testament back in 1977, it was not
witnessed. Under Swedish law, that alone invalidated the Will. Accordingly, Swedish law gave
Larsson’s entire estate to his father and brother. Reportedly, Larsson had very little contact
with either of them and certainly was not close to them. Unfortunately, the one person that
Larsson was close to received nothing under Swedish law. Larsson’s girlfriend of 30 years, with
whom Larsson lived at the time of death, was not entitled to anything since they were not
legally married. Ironically, they did not legally marry because of legal requirements that
required their address to be made public if they married. Given the unpopular stance Larsson
often took on controversial topics in his writing, the pair did not want to take the risk of making
their address public.
Famous accounts of poor estate planning, or a complete lack of estate planning, abound. Even
people with a considerable fortune often do not take the time to sit down and decide what
they want to be done with that fortune when they die. Even if you do not have a fortune to
dispense with, don’t miss the opportunity to decide who will receive your assets when you die
and how they will receive them. Talk to your estate planning attorney now, before it’s too late.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Roseville CA of the John Rogers Burk, A Law Corporation
offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Roseville CA. To learn
more about these free resources, please visit www.roseville-estate-planning.com/ today.