Do you feel glad 2020 has ended? In my world, it seemed like 2020 rewarded simplicity and willingness to pivot and punished resistance to change. Maybe every year does that. We also saw reminders that having a plan is better than having no plan. This was especially true for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and leveraged investors. They tend to have what we call unwieldy estates.
You may have read or heard about the November 27, 2020 death of Tony Hsieh in a house fire in Connecticut. Mr. Hsieh was a co-founder of Zappos.com, the very successful online shoe store headquartered in San Francisco and later Las Vegas. He was also author of the best-selling book, Delivering Happiness. Zappos was sold to Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion. Mr. Hsieh stayed with Zappos as CEO until he retired in August 2020. Along the way, Mr. Hsieh invested hundreds of millions of dollars in revitalizing downtown Las Vegas, purchased a mansion in Park City, Utah, then bought up multiple properties in Park City with a mission of transforming the city’s downtown.
Mr. Hsieh’s estate is valued in the hundreds of millions. He is survived by his parents and two brothers. No will or trust has been found. However, thousands of color-coded post it notes cover the walls of his mansion representing his investments and his financial commitments
made to friends and local businesses. His estate includes Park City real estate worth $70 million, much of it owned by limited liability companies and including houses and condos occupied by his friends who continued to live there after his death.
A court in Las Vegas has appointed Mr. Hsieh’s father and brother as administrators of the estate. They have begun the task of evaluating Mr. Hsieh’s assets and financial obligations. When does a sticky note become a binding contract? No decisions have been made. We’ll see what happens.
Welcome 2021! Whether you have a simple estate or an unwieldy estate, we are here to update or create your estate plan so your affairs will be in order. Contact our office to get started.