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Brittany Murphy Estate: she did update her estate plan, after all

Actress Brittany Murphy died tragically at age 32 a few months ago.  Within a day of her passing, celebrity website TMZ reported that Murphy failed to update her will after her marriage to Simon Monjack, her husband of 2 1/2 years.  Instead, her will left everything to her mother.  The Probate Lawyer Blog’s article about it reminded people that updating wills and trusts after important life changes, like a marriage, is very important . . .  even for 32-year olds.  Brittany Murphy Estate

TMZ is now reporting that, according to Monjack, the story wasn’t entirely accurate.  While she did have a prior handwritten will naming her mother as her beneficiary, Murphy did update her estate plan after her marriage, complete with a will and trust.  Monjack said he asked Murphy to include a provision stating “I am married to Simon Monjack who I have intentionally left out of this will.”

That provision was important because, without it, Monjack may still have inherited some of her assets as a “pretermitted spouse”.  By specifically mentioning

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Did Brittany Murphy forget to update her will?

Everyone was shocked when actress Brittany Murphy died suddenly at age 32 on December 20th, 2009.  She left behind a husband, Simon Monjack, of two and a half years and a mother with whom she was very close.  Reportedly, her mother lived with Murphy and her husband the last few years.  

Only one day after her tragic passing, celebrity gossip website TMZ posted an article saying that Murphy had a will, but one that was created before her marriage.  The report stated the will left everything to her mother and nothing to her husband.

It also stated Brittany’s house was held in a trust which also left it to her mother, not her husband.  Another website said the house — which Murphy had purchased from Britney Spears in 2003 for almost four million dollars — was held in a trust called the “Nina Bow Trust”.

At this point, it’s too early to tell if the reports are accurate.  Wills are public records and are available to the media and websites

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