British Actor Michael Gough, who appeared in over 100 films, passed away on March 17, 2011, at the age of 94.  Gough may be best known to international audiences by his recurring role as Alfred Pennyworth in all four movies of the Burton/Schumacher Batman franchise, beginning with Batman (1989).  He is survived by his 4th wife, Henrietta, daughter Emma and sons Simon and Jasper.

It is important for those who enter marriage with children from a previous relationship to consider updating all estate planning documents.  A popular estate planning tool used by individuals who are in this situation is a Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trust.  This enables a spouse to look after his or her current spouse and ensure that the assets from the trust are then passed on to beneficiaries of his or her choice, such as the children from the spouse’s first marriage.  Income, and sometimes principal, generated from the trust is given to the surviving spouse to ensure he or she is taken care of for the remainder of his or her life.  Then once that spouse has passed, the principal is then given to the children of the first deceased spouse.  This avoids children of the spouse that passes first being written out of their father or mother’s estate, as often times the surviving spouse will rewrite his or her Last Will and Testament after their spouses passes, leaving the entire estate to their own children, and giving nothing to the deceased spouse’s children.

The attorneys at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C. have worked with a variety of families in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island.  For questions regarding estate planning, please contact an attorney at the Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C. law firm for a free consultation at 1-888-556-2529 or visit the firm’s website at www.lbestatelaw.com.