LegalJourney Blog

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Jose Fernandez's legacy will live on -- in a trust for his unborn daughter

How can you protect your unborn heirs?

Major League Baseball fans, family and friends mourn the loss of Marlin’s Pitcher Jose Fernandez this month. Fernandez was killed when his 32’ fishing boat, Kaught Looking, crashed into a jetty off of Miami beach.

Unlike most people, Fernandez had the luxury of having an agent, Scott Boras, looking out for his interests and the interests of his family in the event that he passed. Boras kept an “in case of death” folder for all of his clients, listing what assets were held where, and who the beneficiaries were. Boras was able to hand this file over to Fernandez’ family and offer them a little more comfort, knowing some financial matters have been taken care of.

Most of Fernandez’ assets were held in a trust, in which both Fernandez and his mother were beneficiaries. In addition to the trust assets, Fernandez has multiple life insurance policies with beneficiaries designated for each. Fernandez did not have a will.

Complications…Fernandez’ Unborn Daughter

Not long before Fernandez’ death, he found out he was to be a father. It is unknown as to whether Fernandez took steps to update his estate plan to accommodate his unborn heir. Because the mother of Fernandez’ child was not married to Fernandez, she has no legal claim to any of Fernandez’ estate. Unfortunately, the unborn child appears to have no claim to her father’s estate either.

Fernandez’ Teammates Step In

Knowing that Fernandez would want to provide for his daughter above all things, his teammates have contributed to a trust fund set up by Boras, for the benefit of Fernandez’ unborn daughter.

Protecting Your Unborn Heirs

Drafting an estate plan early in your life may seem pointless, but as you can see from the Fernandez accident, life can easily be cut short too soon. It is best to be prepared for any eventuality.

Once you’ve drafted your estate plan, it is critical to review and update it, especially when new heirs may be on the way.  It is possible to include unborn children in wills and trusts, so long as certain formalities are followed.  If you have life insurance policies, be sure to review your beneficiaries on at least an annual basis.

When determining how you would like your estate to be distributed to unborn or minor children, you should consider who you would like to manage the trust, when you would like funds distributed, and for what purposes.

Get Advice You Can Count On

If you have not prepared an estate plan, or are in need of an update because of changing circumstances, do yourself and your family a favor and get the advice of an attorney. The LegalJourney law firm can help you establish and update your estate plan to ensure your family is protected in the event of your death. Contact us or give us a call today at 888-245-2919.


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Attorney Karnardo Garnett represents clients with their Estate Planning, Elder Law and Asset Protection needs throughout the Tampa Bay Area, serving all of the bay area, including but not limited to Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Gibsonton, Riverview, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Hillsborough County, and Pinellas County, FL



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