When you have significant assets and the desire to preserve a legacy, you sometimes need a few brainstorming sessions to cover all of the bases. It is also important for Oakland County residents to draft estate planning documents to ensure that your wishes are carried out; otherwise, unexpected decisions may cast asunder the plans that you assumed would come true.

That may be the case for the estate of television icon Andy Griffith. Griffith passed away in July 2012, and he was undoubtedly a favorite among Michigan residents for his roles in “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock.”

But friends of the entertainer expressed surprise that his widow intends to demolish a much beloved house once owned by the “Matlock” star. One family friend even said that Griffith had discussed turning the residence into a museum that would house memorabilia from his career as a musician and television actor.

While there was no discussion of how the museum would relate to the Andy Griffith Museum already operating in the entertainer’s hometown, the family friend claims that Griffith clearly expressed a desire to preserve the home.

Other friends, in describing the beauty of the property, said they simply assumed the home would be kept for posterity.

Griffith and his second wife had built a larger home on the same property, and that is where they resided up until his death. The actor is also buried on the same large swath of land.

The story illustrates the kind of risk attached to assuming that loved ones will adhere to your wishes without the proper guidance. To make certain that end-of-life wishes are known and carried out, estate owners in Michigan and throughout the country would do well to express their desires in legally sound documents such as a will or a trust.

Source: The Oakland Press, “Andy Griffith’s widow to raze his home,” Martha Waggoner, March 21, 2013

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