Aretha Franklin. Pablo Picasso. Prince. Howard Hughes. What do these people have in common, aside from being famous? They all died without a will or trust in place, despite being worth millions of dollars (or more) each. “How could they let that happen?” you may wonder to yourself. And the answer, as explained by Ms. Franklin’s attorney, is all too common: “She never told me, ‘No, I don’t want to do one.’ She understood the need. It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to.”
Ask any probate or estate lawyer, and you’ll find that’s probably the most common reason why people don’t have a will or estate plan. And hey, we get it. Life is busy enough, and no one really enjoys thinking about death. But the hard truth is, that excuse isn’t good enough. The person who dies isn’t the one who has to deal with the mess left behind. As you might imagine, given the amount of money at stake, many of the estates of the artists named above are still making their way through the courts. Not only has it been slowed by conflict among potential heirs, but the probate process itself is complicated and time-consuming. Unfortunately, a sizable amount of the money in those estates will probably be spent on court costs and lawyer fees.
But, you don’t need to be rich or famous to need a will or estate plan. All you need is someone you care about enough to spare them the time, expense, and emotional toll of having to wrap up your affairs and your estate on their own. A simple will can avoid so much conflict, heartache, and waste of your loved one’s precious time and treasure. If you don’t have an estate plan in place, contact us today to find out how to get started!