Celebrity’s Passing Highlights the Need for Estate Planning
The recent death of the musician Prince shocked the music industry as well as the general public, and his passing dominated headlines and media reports as his fans mourned his loss. Amid the details that emerged was one shocking fact that may have gone unnoticed to many: Prince died without a signed will in place. As the news reported on family members who may be in line to inherit from the singer’s massive wealth, the situation highlights the need we all have for proper estate planning and protection. Regardless of the size of your estate, it is important to take certain steps today to ensure your assets and interests are protected, while also ensuring the people close to you will be provided for in the event of your passing.
The Ramifications Of Not Having an Estate Plan
According to a May 2016 report in the New York Times, Prince committed one of the gravest errors a wealthy person can commit, which is to not have a will designating how his assets would be distributed in the event of his passing. With an estate valued at roughly $300 million dollars, his lack of planning for the future means a potentially lengthy and drawn out battle in determining rightful heirs. While his lone sister has already come forward, there are step-siblings, ex-wives, and others, including the Internal Revenue Service, who are likely to claim entitlement to a portion of the estate. In addition to distributing his wealth, the lack of a will also raises questions on how future royalties will be handled, and who will manage the vast set of personal documents and unreleased recordings he kept in his home.
Getting Your Affairs In Order
Prince was 57 years old when he died. That is an age where most of us are still working, and while plans for retirement may be on the horizon, it may still be years into our future. It is also an age in which talk of wills and estates may seem easy to put off. While these types of conversations are not always comfortable, delaying them could cost you in terms of providing for the loved ones you hold dear. Regardless of the size of your estate, getting your affairs in order is important, and Consumer Reports advises to begin the process by taking a few simple steps:
- Create and sign a will naming someone as executor of your estate in the event of your passing;
- Name beneficiaries for your assets, bank accounts, and life insurance policies;
- Have your lawyer draft a durable Power of Attorney, naming someone to manage your affairs in the event you become incapacitated;
- Appoint a health care proxy and use health care directive to dictate the types of care you want to receive if you are unable to communicate your own wishes.
Let Us Assist You
At Cavallo & Cavallo, our experienced New York estate attorneys provide professional, effective legal representation to insure your assets are protected and that your loved ones are provided for. With offices in the Bronx and Westchester, we are your neighborhood law firm, so call or contact us online today for a free and confidential consultation.