There has been much media speculation about the debate in Bobbi Kristina Brown's family over whether or not to remove her from life support. The debate has been framed as a moral and religious one, but what might really be driving it is something much simpler, her mother's money.
Whitney Houston's will did not leave her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, an inheritance in a single lump sum. Instead, Brown was to receive the inheritance in increments, which would end when she reached 30 years old. The remainder of any money would then be placed in a trust.
Now, with 22-year-old Bobbi Kristina in hospice care and not expected to recover, things get complicated.
Houston's will states that if her daughter does not live to the age of 30, then the money should be distributed to Houston's other family members. Obviously, they have a monetary reason to argue that Bobbi Kristina should be removed from life support.
On the other hand, if Bobbi Kristina lives past the age of 30, her father, Bobby Brown, would be the beneficiary of the money.
To further complicate things, Bobbi Kristina's boyfriend is claiming that the two were married. If that is true, then he would inherit any money she receives. That claim is disputed and he has not produced proof.
Billboard reported this story in a recent article titled "Whitney Houston's Fortune in Limbo Amid Bobbi Kristina Tragedy."
It is difficult enough for a family to decide whether to take a loved one off of life support when no money is involved. When millions of dollars are involved as in this case, it becomes nearly impossible.
Most of us will not have such dramatic or public issues revolving around our estates. In order to make sure your estate plan covers all of the contingencies, consider a review of your existing plans. If you don't have an estate plan, now is the time. Please contact my office for a consultation.
Reference: Billboard (June 19, 2015) "Whitney Houston's Fortune in Limbo Amid Bobbi Kristina Tragedy."