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Robin Williams: A Private Struggle In A Public Light


I have read that Williams did some estate planning. I do not pretend to know anything about the composition of his estate or his income, or what types of money his estate can expect to receive. I do know that he is survived by his third wife, and three adult children. In addition to the living trust that I have read that he had, hopefully Williams had engaged in some more advanced estate planning because I assume his estate was large enough to generate estate taxes.

Even those wealthy people who have not engaged in extensive estate planning can avoid estate taxes at the first death if the spouse gets everything, but the exemption amount which is currently $5,340,000. However, Williams’ widow is not the mother of his children, so if he left his children more than $5,340,000 without having done some estate tax planning, it is quite possible there will be some taxes due. Hopefully, his financial people got him to meet with a wills and trusts attorney who helped him with sophisticated estate tax planning.

A final thought. When I read the news of his death, I was deeply saddened in a way that I do not frequently feel when I read of the deaths of other celebrities. Part of it was because of the loss of this enormous talent at such a young age; part of it was sadness for what he must have been feeling; and part of it was sadness that someone who contributed to my happiness during my teenage years is gone.

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