One of the more high-profile deaths we had in 2020 was of Sir Sean Connery, who died peacefully on October 31, 2020, in his home in the Bahamas at 90 years old.
Connery had a prolific, multi-decade acting career, but he was probably best known for his role as James Bond. He was the first actor to portray the fictional British secret agent on film and starred in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. He went on to appear in over 70 movies and earn an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and three Golden Globes.
With accomplishments like that, it’s no surprise that Sean Connery was quite a wealthy man. Celebrity Net Worth estimates his estate to be worth approximately $350 million at the time of his death. With so much money at stake, his more legally savvy fans may be wondering: Did he have an estate plan?
Lessons on Estate Planning from Sean Connery
Sean Connery’s life presents an interesting learning opportunity for why it’s important to draft an estate plan before your death. With such a high net worth, there is no doubt that his estate is very complex.
The Bond star had assets in several countries. There have been whispers of him being in tax exile to avoid the higher taxes in England for decades. It didn’t help that he was investigated (and subsequently cleared) for tax evasion by Spanish authorities in 1999. In an attempt to crush those rumors, Connery released documents showing he had paid millions in UK taxes between 1997 and 2003.
The legendary actor was married twice and had a string of well-documented affairs. He is survived by his wife, Micheline Roquebrune. He also had one son, actor Jason Connery, with his first wife.
Connery was also very politically active. As a member of the Scottish National Party (SNP), he supported campaigns for Scottish independence from the UK. He supported the SNP both financially and through personal appearances. He didn’t stop donating to the party until 2001, when the UK parliament passed legislation prohibiting overseas funding of political activities in the country.
The Life Lessons
Here’s how all this might apply to you:
- Do you own real estate in more than one state or country like Sean Connery did? If yes, have you addressed how the ownership of these properties should be transferred after your death?
- Have you been married more than once, and do you perhaps have children from a prior marriage? If yes, have you figured out what you will leave each of your children and your spouse?
- Is there a charity, organization, church, or other public cause that you support and is important to you? If yes, have you left information on how you will continue to support the venture after your passing?
These are just a few examples of the possible lessons we can take from Sean Connery’s death—a man who was married multiple times, has at least one child from a prior marriage, had assets in multiple countries, and funded special political interests.
Why Estate Planning is Essential
Estate planning is the only way you can stay in control of who will receive your money, property, and other assets after you pass away. A basic estate plan includes a durable power of attorney, an advance health care directive, and a will. Some plans also include one or more trusts for very specific purposes.
Let’s break that down:
- Durable power of attorney – Gives a person control over your finances if you are temporarily or permanently incapacitated by illness or other health problems.
- Advance health care directive – Gives a person the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. This includes the power to approve or refuse treatment, tests, surgery, and medication associated with your condition.
- Will – Dictates who gets your assets and custody of your children in the event of your death.
- Living trust – This is similar to a will. It enables the estate to avoid probate in California.
You might not know which of these documents you may need or even who you might want to name in your estate plan. That’s where our legal document assistants come in.
Let Our Legal Document Assistant Help You Draft Your Estate Plan
You may never be as wealthy as Sean Connery was, but planning your estate is still a good idea. A formal, detailed, and properly drafted estate plan can save surviving loved ones a lot of added stress during an already stressful time.
Contact A People’s Choice for more information on estate planning. We can help you draft a will, living trust, or estate plan at a fraction of the cost of an attorney. Call us at 800-747-2780.
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