Prince, the well-known music icon from the 1980s, continued to make music and wow his fans even in the 1990s and 2000s. When he died, many people across the world mourned his passing and fell in love again with his music. However, as news of his passing persisted, many were shocked to find out that Prince didn’t have a will to direct the disbursement of his estate.
How does someone with so much fame and fortune not have a will? Where will his assets and royalties go? Is there such thing as too rich to need a will? Or too poor, perhaps?
That’s the question we wanted to answer with this article. Whether you are a world-famous artist like Prince was, or you just started your family and are living paycheck to paycheck, it is important for you to have a will and an estate plan in place. Your assets and such are just as important to you as his were to him.
What is a Will?
A will is essentially a legal document stating how you would like your assets divided and who will receive them. This gives you an opportunity to make sure anyone you want to include will be included.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Have a Will?
Creating a will seems like something you shouldn’t worry about until you are in your 60’s and 70’s and getting ready to retire. It is an understatement to say that a lot of people put it off. Unfortunately, not everyone lives until they are old. There is illness, accidents, and other things that may result in untimely passing. It is far more reasonable and proactive for you and your family to have you write a will early on in your life and you can adjust it as necessary as you age and your circumstances change.
What Happens if You Do Not Have A Will?
If you don’t have a will, the state will decide how your assets are divided up and who will get what. Each state has a different law, so how it gets divided depends on your state laws. Legal spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings typically will receive the assets. Charities, friends, and unmarried partners are not included and if relatives cannot be found, the state may retain your assets.
How Does Having a Will Help?
If you do not have a will then your family will have to apply to a probate court. They will appoint someone to oversee your estate. This could be lengthy and expensive. In your will, you will appoint your own executor which will help probate move quicker and not cost as much.
Having an estate plan will also allow you to make sure people you may not want to receive anything, will not. It also makes it less stressful for your family because they won’t have to decide how to divide your assets and will keep them from having to fight in court if they can’t decide.
Having a will is not necessarily for you, you will not be around to see it executed. It is for your loved ones. Leaving them to sort out your assets and paying for court fees after losing you is not the way you want to go.
In Prince’s case, his sister is now left with the mess of fighting to make the decisions on his estate, then figuring out how it should be disbursed. Don’t leave a mess for your family. Make sure you have a will.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.