Posted on May 9, 2016

Why Prince’s Lack of a Will Is a Lesson to Everyone on Estate Planning

The music pop star Prince recently died at the age of 57. USA Today reports his sister has indicated there was no will left behind by the music pop star. While some question how it could be possible that Prince never made a will despite likely being advised to do so, he is one of many people throughout the country who have not taken the basic estate planning steps that they need to take in order to protect themselves and to protect their family members. 

While not everyone has an estate valued at between $150 and $300 million like Prince does, the fact the pop star died without a will still demonstrates very important reasons why everyone needs an estate plan regardless of their income level.

Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

Prince may not have had a will in place yet because he assumed he had plenty of time since he was only 57-years-old. Many people make the mistake of assuming they have years before their death. Unfortunately, a tragic fatality can happen at any time. This is one reason why no one should put off estate planning.

Because Prince had no will, his sister filed with the probate court to have a special administrator appointed who will oversee the settling of the estate. If a will had been created, an executor would have been named, giving Prince control over which trusted person in his life would manage his property and facilitate the transfer of assets. Without a will, it is up to the court to determine who should fill the role of special administrator, and the person could be someone whom the deceased wouldn’t have necessarily selected.

Prince’s sister asked the court to act quickly in appointing a special administrator because immediate decisions need to be made to manage Prince’s business interests. Even people without the catalog and business dealings of a music legend may have property and assets that need to be carefully managed on a day-to-day basis. Creating an estate plan makes it possible for a person to decide in advance who should be in charge of managing those assets and making decisions in case of incapacity or death.

Finally, Prince’s lack of a will means intestate succession rules will apply. He doesn’t have surviving parents, nor did he have a spouse or  children. He has half siblings and step siblings, but it is likely there will be family fighting over his estate. People may come “out of the woodwork” to try to claim a relationship. With a will, fighting among family members can be avoided. Moreover, it is possible to protect the value of an estate rather than have a substantial amount of money lost due to fees in fighting over the estate.

If you’re ready to start addressing elder law issues and creating your estate plan to protect your legacy for the people you love, contact Price and Price, LLC, South Jersey’s leading elder law firm. Call us at 866-270-3513 for more information.

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