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Bobbi Kristina's death sparks estate planning discussion

New York residents have probably heard about the early death of Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown. Now, estate planning experts are speculating about whether Whitney Houston could have done something to protect Bobbi Kristina by structuring her will in a different way. Bobbi Kristina was 18 years old when her mother died at the age of 48, and she was the main benefactor of her mother's $20 million fortune.

When Whitney Houston died in February 2012, her will had not been updated for 19 years. According to the will, Bobbi Kristina would receive 10 percent of her mother's estate at age 21 and then receive additional payments at ages 25 and 30. Bobbi Kristina died at age 22, six months after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub.

A co-author of the book 'Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights" said that Houston may not have wanted her daughter to receive so much money so young. If Houston had updated her estate plan at some point during Bobbi Kristina's life, she might have created more specific provisions tailored to her daughter's needs. After Bobbi Kristina was discovered incapacitated in her home, a conservator appointed by the court was left in charge of her assets. That conservator has since filed a lawsuit against Brown's boyfriend alleging that he stole money from Brown's bank account and was physically abusive towards her.

When a person dies with no will or a will that does not name an executor, the court will appoint an administrator to handle the estate. It is usually necessary for the administrator to go through probate court in order to disburse assets to beneficiaries. A person who has the job of estate administrator may want to work with an attorney to ensure that all of the duties are performed correctly.

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