The shocking death of Prince has opened the eyes of his fans to how truly great he was as an artist. Unfortunately, his death also teaches an important lesson regarding estate planning, which is the chaos that results when you fail to leave a will or other estate planning documents.
By not creating an estate plan to govern the distribution of his estate, Prince left a situation where his loved ones may face years of legal battles. Further, Prince failed to protect his work from a concern he had throughout his life, which was obtaining freedom for artists from the restrictive recording contracts they so often were forced to sign.
We may never know why Prince did not create an estate plan. Whether he did not deal well with thinking about his mortality or he simply hadn’t gotten to it yet, he left the burden squarely on the shoulders of his family and other loved ones.
If you want to avoid the same mistake Prince made, consider the following:
- Get a Will. If you are one of the thousands of Americans like Prince who do not have a Will, it is time to get one. You don’t want to leave your family in a situation where they may end up feuding over your estate, possibly even taking each other to court. Further, if you have minor children, who will care for them if both you and your spouse die? Your will can appoint a guardian for them.
- Update an existing Will. If it has been several years since you created your estate plan, it is time to review and update it. If your life circumstances have changed, your old Will could contain provisions that no longer apply and that could wreak havoc for your loved ones. It is important to update your Will routinely to reflect your changing finances as well as your named beneficiaries.
- Work with an estate planning attorney. Getting help with your estate plan is especially important if you have a high net worth or taxable estate or a complex estate. An estate planning lawyer can save you a significant amount of money in estate taxes, as well as take advantage of other beneficial estate planning tools.
If you are interested in learning more about getting your estate in order, contact the knowledgeable lawyers at The Swenson Law Firm to schedule an appointment.