Celebrity Will Dispute - Case Study #3 - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: When You Got It Right

Updated: Oct 12

Most of the time, what you read online about celebrity wills is ... disputes. Very often, it is about a celebrity who did not have a will or failed to update it to reflect the latest circumstances, i.e. new-born child, divorce, marriage, etc.

On the other hand, it is rare that you hear about a celebrity who got it right. Sometimes, it's almost abnormal for someone to have everything done right.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ginsburg was an American lawyer who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in September 2020. She was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. During her years on the bench, she has been a champion of gay rights, women’s rights, the poor, and many other marginalized groups.

Some of Justice Ginsburg's most famous quotes include:

"People ask me sometimes... 'When will there be enough women on the court?' And my answer is, 'When there are nine.' People are shocked, but there'd been nine men, and nobody's ever raised a question about that."

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."

"Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time."

Known by her initials “RBG,” Justice Ginsburg passed away in September of 2020, leaving a long legacy in her wake. Yet little is known about Justice Ginsburg’s estate. This is not by accident.


When a famous individual dies and the estate planning is done properly, there is virtually no media coverage. Justice Ginsburg was a pioneer for gender equality, successfully arguing that men should not have preference over women for appointment as administrator of a decedent’s estate. It would come as no surprise if Justice Ginsburg nominated a woman to serve as the administrator of her estate.

Learning Points

No news is good news. When Justice Ginsburg died, the public heard nothing about the administration of her estate. Why? Because she most likely had a comprehensive, up-to-date estate plan in place before her death. Good estate plans minimize family fighting, keep the estate plan private, honor promises, and leave a legacy of good will.

Writing your Will is the very first step, and it’s an important one. But that’s not enough. In the digital age, the next step is to store your Will online. Otherwise, what happens if nobody is able to find your Will in a timely manner? liteWill is the only registration platform that is available globally and that provides the option to store your Will online. ‘A Will that is not online is like a Will that does not exist’.

This case study is a summary of underlying facts and related law suits. It is for information only. The statements and opinions are the expression of their author, not of liteWill, and have not been evaluated for accuracy, completeness or changes in the law.

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