We have mentioned before that even celebrities fail to have their estate plans organized and updated, even though they arguably have the most to lose. The recent passing of Arethra Franklin saddens us all, and unfortunately she serves as an example of how this failure to plan an estate can lead to serious complications.
Franklin was very successful throughout her career, and this success translated into financial gains and assets, which, according to Rolling Stone, could be valued at $80 million and rising (https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/aretha-franklin-will-what-happens-718930/). Because Franklin passed without a will her estate will be divided amongst her four sons.
Unfortunately, as we have seen before, in the instance of Prince, what actually proceeds is much more complicated. Various friends and family members may come out of the woodwork demanding a part of the estate. Tax collectors and other creditors will come forth for debts owed as well.
The lesson here is that estate planning is essential for everyone, to ensure that your assets are distributed in the most efficient manner according to your wishes. This keeps the decisions out of the court, allows your family to focus on the grieving process, and protects your assets after you are gone.
It is difficult to think about death, but estate planning can provide you and your family with peace of mind, and allow you to enjoy your time together now.
For more in-depth information about estate planning, contact one of our experienced attorneys.