Welcome back to Part II of the Star Wars Inheritance Series. To read Part I, please click here.
Given the ever increasing pace of life, often important items get put on the backburner until a better day. Getting a Trust prepared or updating your outdated Last Will and Testament seems to be a task that many people don’t mind putting off. However, procrastinating your estate planning can come with costly consequences down the road.
Take Han Solo for example. Unlike Darth Vader, I believe Han probably did take the time to prepare his Will, and that he had it done years prior to even meeting Luke or Leia. It is my full belief that his Will provided that Chewy was to receive his entire estate, even if at the time, his entire estate did consist of primarily the Millennium Falcon and maybe a light saber. After becoming more successful in his career after taking out the Death Star with Luke and Leia, he would have started to accumulate more wealth. However, because Han wouldn’t stop taking jobs all over the galaxy, he failed to take the time to properly update his Will after he married Leia and after they had a child, Ben (Kylo Ren). Thus, ultimately after Han’s untimely death, the Last Will and Testament that left his entire estate to Chewy would have been the controlling document upon his passing in Maryland and would have created several unfortunate consequences after his death.
Foremost, in Maryland, even if precluded by a Will, a surviving spouse has a right to elect a fixed amount against the estate, typically one-third if there are also children, and one-half of the estate if the decedent had no children. In this case, Leia could elect her right to take her one-third share of the estate, and Chewy pursuant to the Will would receive the balance. However, more than likely they would have to force a sale of the Millennium Falcon in order to provide the funds necessary to pay Leia her share of the estate. Selling the Millennium Falcon is by far the last scenario Han Solo would have ever wanted to happen. I strongly believe that if he prudently updated his Will, he always intended for Chewy to receive the Millennium Falcon. We can also assume that Han would have wanted to provide something for his wife, Leia upon his passing. Given that he was always trying to patch his relationship with his son, he probably would have included Kylo Ren had he taken the time to update his Will. Although, similarly to the Luke and Darth Vader situation, ultimately Kylo Ren would be precluded from inheriting anything from Han Solo under Maryland’s Slayer Statute.
At the end of the day, while Han probably would have wanted to make changes to his Will to include Leia, and probably Ren, and to ensure that Chewy would be getting the Millennium Falcon, he continuously put his estate planning on the backburner until it was too late. Don’t be like Han Solo. Should something untimely and unfortunate happen, we want to make sure your plan is in order. It may be time to dust off your Will that you created a few years ago and if it isn’t currently what you want to happen in the event something unfortunate happened, then contact us today!