What We Can Learn From Downton Abbey About Estate Planning

May 2, 2013

Downton Abbey – the British drama about the fortunes and misfortunes of an aristocratic British family in the early 20th century that has taken American audiences by storm – gets most of its gripping plot twists as the result of a number of bad estate planning moves. For example (Spoiler Alert: these include references to Season 3):

Protect your inheritance. The Earl of Grantham inherits Downton Abbey and marries a rich American to keep the estate solvent. However, he squanders the family fortune on an unwise overseas investment that goes belly up. The family turns to Lady Grantham’s rich American mother, but she is unable to help since her fortune is tied up in a trust.


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