Rosa Parks taught us many things. Stand up for yourself even if you must stand alone. Sit by yourself and others will join you. Live a life of goodness and leave the world a better place. She reportedly said, “Each person must live their life as a model for others.”
Today, our Los Angeles readers can learn another lesson from Rosa Parks, and sadly it is not one that she probably intended to teach us. Rosa Parks’ will has been in dispute since her death in 2005. The will dispute and litigation points out why it is important to have one’s affairs in order and consider all contingencies.
According to a news source, her will left her entire estate to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development which she founded in 1987.
That will was immediately challenged by family members. The lawyer representing the institute is now claiming that the probate judge and an attorney involved in the estate dispute conspired to drain the estate of its funds.
The attorney claims that Rosa Parks’ estate is now in $88,000 in debt with about $507,000 lost to frivolous legal maneuvers. Whether that claim has any merit is not our point today.
The lesson from Rosa Parks is the importance of complete and thorough estate planning. This could involve a will, living will, trust, living trust, power of attorney, guardianship or conservatorship and many other tools of the trade. A well-crafted estate plan can help to prevent will contests and other estate disputes.
Perhaps we can take another lesson from Rosa Parks who said, “Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” Let’s hope that her good deeds can continue on through the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute.
Source: Sacramento Bee, “Attorney: Judge, lawyers drained Rosa Parks estate,” May 17, 2012