Estate administration isn't only about distributing assets. The probate process can have major tax implications for heirs and beneficiaries. If a deceased loved one's estate wasn't effectively organized with the use of a will or a trust, then a probate judge's decisions could leave you with a heavy tax burden.
One of the disadvantages of being a celebrity is that you have no privacy. One of the disadvantages to being a celebrity living in California is that court records are much easier to come by. Divorces are not sealed, for example, except in rare situations. Reporters in California seem to have become adept at searching public records, because someone uncovered a copy of Mickey Rooney's will very soon after it was filed. Wills are always a matter of public record, but not everyone knows that -- or takes advantage of it.
We are picking up where we left off (here) with our discussion of the lawsuits over Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney's will. When Rooney died in April, his widow, Jan, told the press she had not seen him for a year. It seems the couple had separated after Rooney accused Jan of elder abuse. They reportedly signed a settlement agreement that included a stipulation that Jan stay away from her husband.