Earlier this year, we posted about the passing of Prince. He died without having executed a will devising his ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ or making other fundamental estate planning decisions.
If you die intestate (without a will), your spouse and descendants (children) will receive your estate directly. Should you die without direct descendants, it then goes “up” to your parents, and if they are deceased, then to your siblings. If your siblings are deceased, the court keeps going until it finds your closest relatives who would then receive your estate. This is where the classic movie begins with the “rich uncle” twice removed who passes and suddenly you inherit $50,000 and a ‘Little Red Corvette’. Unlikely, but it makes for good storyline.
Prince died without a spouse, his ‘Most Beautiful Girl in the World’, and without children children born during a prior marriage. Multiple people claimed to be his children in order to receive a portion of the multi-million estate. This created quite a ‘Controversy’. Most were eliminated as descendants via DNA testing.
What a mishegas! Had the Purple One had taken a few steps to make his wishes known, his siblings and/or specific beneficiaries could have saved an untold amount of money in legal fees. It is also estimated that approximately half of his estate will go towards estate taxes alone.
Don’t take a page from Prince’s song book and leave your estate in this condition. Plan. Act now.
The article linked here is an excellent source for some very simple planning you can efficiently accomplish. This can make an extremely difficult time much easier for the people you love when you are gone. Planning ahead for these matters is not morbid. It is smart.
No one lives forever.
Make an exit plan.
Know where you going.
You will leave your luggage here.
Make your decisions or someone else will make them for you.
To learn more about the status of the purple estate, click here.