Estate planning 101 from the late Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
Tony Hsieh was the CEO of Zappos for over twenty years before retiring and taking up a series of different business ventures. Zappos is an online retailer that deals specifically with shoes and clothing on an international sale. Hsieh was an early investor, and then CEO, for this online clothing empire. On November 27, 2020, Tony Hsieh succumbed to his injuries resulting from a house fire at his residence, leaving behind assets worth over $700,000,000. Quite a large sum.
Like many celebrities who have passed away with large estates, including Aretha Franklin and Prince, Hsieh did not leave an estate plan in the unfortunate eventuality of his death. Having no plan in place governing his wishes, Mr. Hsieh’s family is now left in the unenviable position of having to deal with the administration of Mr. Hsieh’s estate and the claims of many individuals seeking a potion of same. At least ten individuals have submitted claims for a portion of Mr. Hsieh’s estate, seeking more than $130,000,000. Many of these claims concern different specific devises listed on thousands of yellow Post-It notes. Some Post-It notes are about particular items such as artwork and furniture, while others concern ownership interests in Mr. Hsieh’s business ventures.
To avoid the type of situation that Mr. Hsieh’s loved ones now find themselves in, it is imperative that everyone have a sound estate plan in place to ensure that their assets are validly passed according to their wishes upon their death. The death of a loved one is an incredibly stressful event, and without a proper estate plan in place, your family members can be left dealing with additional stress and grief upon your passing.
The creation of a sound estate plan – including the execution of a Last Will and Testament and revocable living trust – would likely have prevented many of the headaches now being felt by the executors of Mr. Hsieh’s estate and his beneficiaries. But unfortunately, because Mr. Hsieh passed away intestate, leaving no valid will, coupled with thousands of Post It notes purportedly devising assets and promising contracts, his estate will likely enter a lengthy and costly probate administration.
To make sure you have a proper estate plan in place, and to minimize the chances of litigation over your estate following your death, you should consult with an experienced estate planning and probate attorney. The lawyers at Chepenik Trushin LLP are ready, willing and able to assist you with all your estate planning and probate needs. To learn more about estate planning, click on https://www.miamifloridaestateplanninglawyer.com/estate-planning.html. Please call Bart Chepenik at (305) 613-3548 or Brad Trushin at (305) 981-8889 now to discuss your estate planning needs. We are here to help you.