Florida residents who are legally savvy are likely attempting to draft an estate plan that is airtight and allows them to distribute their assets as they intend. That may not always happen, though, because of potential probate litigation from family members and other potential beneficiaries. In fact, the late Mickey Rooney’s estate is slated to go to probate after the actor’s biological children and widow brought formal objections.

Official reports show that Rooney’s assets were listed at just $18,000 in his will. However, his estate is slated to receive movie royalties. Rooney’s collection of Hollywood memorabilia is also not considered in that estimate.

Attorneys for the woman’s widow say they are pursuing probate litigation simply because they want to make sure that she gets her share of their community property. In other words, they simply want to review the documents to ensure that a proper accounting of assets has been performed. Further, lawyers for the man’s biological children say those offspring are concerned about the fact that the actor left all of his belongings to one of his stepsons, who was living with Rooney at the time of his death.

Rooney’s family has been embroiled in recent legal battles that extend past the estate litigation. One of the actor’s stepsons reportedly settled a $2.8 million lawsuit that had been brought against him and his wife. The pair was accused of elder abuse against the actor.

The fact remains that even the best estate plans can be sent into probate litigation because of beneficiaries’ demands. That is why Florida residents may benefit from consulting a probate attorney. These professionals may help determine potential pitfalls that could send a will into probate. The use of trusts, for instance, can entirely eliminate the idea of contesting a will. These estate planning tools can help you make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Luis E. Barreto