When most of us pass away, we will do so with our families knowing who all of our children are. However, that is not always the case for everyone and it can create unique problems in estate planning. The parent has to decide when, if ever, to tell his or her family about the unknown children. It can be done while still alive, in the estate plan, or not at all.
Legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong appears to have chosen the last option. For years it has been believed that he did not have any biological children. When he passed away, his wife swore in an affidavit that he did not have any. However, it turns out that Armstrong had a long affair that produced a daughter. He never came clean with his wife about the affair and the daughter has just recently come forward with the proof.
The problem is that Armstrong’s daughter did not receive any portion of his estate because the musician never told anyone about her. It is clear from his letters to his mistress, however, that he did want to leave an inheritance for the daughter. He just never got around to doing so. That’s a shame.
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