Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 15, 2014 – Probate filings for musician Lou Reed's estate were recently entered in the Surrogate's Court, Manhattan's probate court.
With an estate worth over $30 million and assets still earning millions in royalties and other income, Reed was among a small number of individuals who relied only on a will for estate planning. Reed left only a 34-page will, signed in April 2012. Reed passed away on October 27, 2013 from liver disease, at the age of 71.
“A well-written trust can make estate administration quicker and more private,” said Lisa McDevitt, an estate planning attorney in Fairfax, Virginia. “Without a trust, assets must go through probate.”
Robert Gotterer, Reed's longtime manager and friend, is co-executor of the estate. He recently filed a report with the Surrogate's Court which contained the income and inventory of the estate. The report revealed an additional $10 million in assets that will go to Reed's wife and his sister. The residual of the estate will be split between the two, with his wife, Laurie Anderson, receiving 75 percent and his sister, Margaret Reed Weiner, receiving 25 percent. $500,000 will also be left to his sister to use in the care of their 93-year-old mother.
Because the estate must be administered through the Surrogate's Court, all information about how much the estate is worth, how much individual assets are worth, how much the executors are charging and who gets what is available to the public and the media. By contrast, if the assets had been transferred to a trust during Reed's life, all of the information would have been private.
In addition to its public nature, probate court has some other features that can make estate administration more complex. The process is lengthy and expensive, and the decedent's heirs are able to file objections or challenges to a will.
Lisa Lane McDevitt
2155 Bonaventure Drive
Vienna, VA 22181