The recent passing of iconic artist Prince was a shock to the world that has left more questions than answers. The 57 year-old legend’s death was emotional for many and now we are scratching our heads trying to figure out why he may not have had a Will, if no estate planning documents surface in the coming months.
Prince’s family has filed an action in his home state of Minnesota, and the courts have appointed a special administrator to manage his currently $300 million estate. Once an executor is named, then that individual will be able to proceed in settling his estate. However, such a process may be arduous and contested, especially as a handful of unknown heirs have come forth, which gives Americans plenty to ponder.
Most people have likely thought about what will happen as they age, including what assets will be available in retirement and who will take care of their children. But estimates reflect that 70% of adults have not put their wishes in writing. Considering the potential of courtroom battles and state laws that control upon death, it is essential to complete an estate plan. No longer can we think that “my family knows what I want” or “I don’t have significant assets.” The effort and money invested in meeting with an attorney will avoid many problems we read about and known to cause family issues and lost wealth.
Think about your assets – do you own a house? Car? Bank accounts? Do you have children? These are the basic questions and most of us would answer yes, to some, if not to all of these inquiries. Of course, there are more complex matters that may require additional planning such as trusts to help save taxes and provide flexibility. Whatever your situation, now is the time to take the necessary steps to maximize your assets and protect your family.